(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Arthasastra_English_Translation"


R. Shamasastry 



Kautilya's 
Arthashastra 



Translated into English by 

R. Shamasastry 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Table of Contents 

Book I, "Concerning Discipline" 3 

Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" 60 

Book III, "Concerning Law" 213 

Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns" 285 

BookV, "The Conduct of Courtiers" 336 

Book VI: The Source of Sovereign States 362 

Book VII, "The End of the Six-Fold Policy" 370 

Book VIM: Concerning Vices and Calamities 467 

Book IX, "The Work of an Invader" 490 

Book X, "Relating to War" 521 

Book XI, "The Conduct of Corporations" 541 

Book XII, "Concerning a Powerful Enemy" 547 

Book XIII, "Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress" 563 

Book XIV, "Secret Means" 584 

Book XV, "The Plan of a Treatise" 607 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book I, "Concerning Discipline" 

CHAPTER I. THE LIFE OF A KING 

6m. 

Salutation to Sukra and Brihaspati. 

This Arthasdstra is made as a compendium of almost all the 
Arthasdstras, which, in view of acquisition and maintenance of the 
earth, have been composed by ancient teachers. 

Of this work, the following are the contents by sections and 
books: 

BOOK I. Concerning Discipline. 

The end of Sciences; association with the aged; restraint of 
the organs of sense; the creation of ministers; the creation of 
councillors and priests; ascertaining by temptations purity or 
impurity in the character of ministers; the institution of spies. 
Protection of parties for or against one's own cause in one's own 
state; winning over the factions for or against an enemy's cause in 
an enemy's state; the business of council meeting; the mission of 
envoys; protection of princes; the conduct of a prince kept under 
restraint; treatment of a prince kept under restraint; the duties of a 
king; duty towards the harem; personal safety. 



BOOK II. The Duties of Government Superintendents. 

3 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Formation of villages; division of land; construction of forts; 
buildings within the fort; the duty of the chamberlain; the business 
of collection of revenue by the collector-general; the business of 
keeping up accounts in the office of accountants; detection of what 
is embezzled by government servants out of state-revenue; 
examination of the conduct of Government servants; the procedure 
of forming royal writs; the superintendent of the treasury; 
examination of gems that are to be entered into the treasury; 
conducting mining operations and manufacture; the superintendent 
of gold; the duties of the state goldsmith in the high road; the 
superintendent of store-house; the superintendent of commerce; 
the superintendent of forest produce; the superintendent of the 
armoury; the superintendent of weights and measures; 
measurement of space and time; the superintendent of tolls; the 
superintendent of weaving; the superintendent of agriculture; the 
superintendent of liquor; the superintendent of slaughter-house; the 
superintendent of prostitutes; the superintendent of ships; the 
superintendent of cows; the superintendent of horses; the 
superintendent of elephants; the superintendent of chariots; the 
superintendent of infantry; the duty of the commander-in-chief , 
the superintendent of passports; the superintendent of pasture 
lands; the duty of revenue collectors; spies in the guise of 
householders, merchants, and ascetics; the duty of a city 
superintendent. 



BOOK III. Concerning Law. 

Determination of forms of agreements; determination of legal 
disputes; concerning marriage; division of inheritance; buildings; 
non-performance of agreements; recovery of debts; concerning 
deposits; rules regarding slaves and labourers; co-operative 
undertakings; rescision of purchase and sale; resumption of gifts, 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



and sale without ownership; ownership; robbery; defamation; 
assault; gambling and betting, and miscellaneous. 



BOOK IV. Removal of Thorns. 

Protection of artisans; protection of merchants; remedies 
against national calamities; suppression of the wicked living by 
foul means; detection of youths of criminal tendency by ascetic 
spies; seizure of criminals on suspicion or in the very act; 
examination of sudden death; trial and torture to elicit confession; 
protection of all kinds of government departments; fines in lieu of 
mutilation of limbs; death with or without torture; sexual 
intercourse with immature girls; atonement for violating justice. 

BOOK V. Conduct of Courtiers. 

Concerning the awards of punishments; replenishment of the 
treasury; concerning subsistence to government servants; the 
conduct of a courtier; time-serving; consolidation of the kingdom 
and absolute sovereignty. 



BOOK VI. The Source of Sovereign States. 

The elements of sovereignty; concerning peace and exertion. 

BOOK VII. The End of Sixfold Policy. 

The sixfold policy; determination of deterioration, stagnation, 
and progress; the nature of alliance; the character of equal, inferior 
and superior kings; forms of agreement made by an inferior king; 
neutrality after proclaiming war or after concluding a treaty of 

5 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



peace; marching after proclaiming war or after making peace; the 
march of combined powers; considerations about marching against 
an assailable enemy and a strong enemy; causes leading to the 
dwindling, greed and disloyalty of the army; considerations about 
the combination of powers; the march of combined powers; 
agreement of peace with or without definite terms; and peace with 
renegades; peace and war by adopting the double policy; the 
attitude of an assailable enemy; friends that deserve help; 
agreement for the acquisition of a friend or gold; agreement of 
peace for the acquisition of land; agreement for undertaking a 
work; considerations about an enemy in the rear; recruitment of 
lost power; measures conducive to peace with a strong and 
provoked enemy; the attitude of a conquered enemy; the attitude of 
a conquered king; making peace and breaking it; the conduct of a 
Madhyama king; of a neutral king and of a circle of states. 



BOOK VIII. Concerning Vices and Calamities. 

The aggregate of the calamities of the elements of 
sovereignty; considerations about the troubles of the king and his 
kingdom; the aggregate of the troubles of men; the group of 
molestations; the group of obstructions; and the group of financial 
troubles; the group of troubles of the army; and the group of 
troubles of a friend. 



BOOK IX. The Work of an Invader. 

The knowledge of power, place, time, strength and weakness; 
the time of invasion; the time for recruiting the army; the form of 
equipment; the work of arraying a rival force; considerations of 
annoyance in the rear; remedies against internal and external 
troubles; consideration about loss of men, wealth and profit. 

6 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Internal and external dangers; persons associated with traitors and 
enemies; doubts about wealth and harm; and success to be obtained 
by the employment of alternative strategic means. 

BOOK X. Relating to War. 

Encampment; march of the camp; protection of the army in 
times of distress and attack; forms of treacherous fights; 
encouragement to one's own army; the fight between one's own 
and enemy's armies; battle-fields; the work of infantry, cavalry, 
chariots and elephants; distinctive array of troops in respect of 
wings, flanks and front; distinction between strong and weak 
troops; battles with infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants; the 
array of the army like a staff, a snake, a circle or in detached order; 
the array of the army against that of an enemy. 

BOOK XI. The Conduct of Corporations. 

Causes of dissension; secret punishment. 

BOOK XII. Concerning a Powerful Enemy. 

The duties of a messenger; battle of intrigue; slaying the 
commander-in-chief, and inciting a circle of states; spies with 
weapons, fire, and poison; destruction of supply of stores, and of 
granaries; capture of the enemy by means of secret contrivances or 
by means of the army; and complete victory. 

BOOK XIII. Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress. 

Sowing the seeds of dissension; enticement of kings by secret 
contrivances; the work of spies in a siege; the operation of a siege; 

7 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



restoration of peace in a conquered country. 

BOOK XIV. Secret Means. 

Means to injure an enemy; wonderful and delusive 
contrivances; remedies against the injuries of one's own army. 

BOOK XV. The Plan of a Treatise. 

Paragraphical divisions of this treatise. 

Such are the contents of this Science. There are on the whole 
15 books, 150 chapters, 180 sections and 6,000 slokas. 

This Sdstra, bereft of undue enlargement and easy to grasp 
and understand, has been composed by Kautilya in words the 
meaning of which has been definitely settled. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Life of a King" in Book I, "Concerning 
Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER II. THE END OF SCIENCES. 

Determination of the place of Anvikshaki. 

ANVIKSHAKI, the triple Vedas (Trayi), Vdrta (agriculture, 
cattle-breeding and trade), and Danda-Niti (science of 
government) are what are called the four sciences. 

The school of Manu (Manava) hold that there are only three 
sciences: the triple Vedas, Varta and the science of government, 

8 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



inasmuch as the science of Anvikshaki is nothing but a special 
branch of the Vedas. 

The school of Brihaspati say that there are only two sciences: 
Varta and the science of government, inasmuch as the Triple 
Vedas are merely an abridgment (Samvarana, pretext?) for a man 
experienced in affairs temporal (Lokayatravidah). 

The school of Usanas declare that there is only one science, 
and that the science of government; for, they say, it is in that 
science that all other sciences have their origin and end. 

But Kautilya holds that four and only four are the sciences; 
wherefore it is from these sciences that all that concerns 
righteousness and wealth is learnt, therefore they are so called. 

Anvikshaki comprises the Philosophy of Sankhya, Yoga, and 
Lokayata (Atheism ?). 

Righteous and unrighteous acts (Dharmadharmau) are learnt 
from the triple Vedas; wealth and non- wealth from Varta; the 
expedient and the inexpedient (Nayanayau), as well as potency and 
impotency (Balabale) from the science of government. 

When seen in the light of these sciences, the science of 
Anvikshaki is most beneficial to the world, keeps the mind steady 
and firm in weal and woe alike, and bestows excellence of 
foresight, speech and action. 

Light to all kinds of knowledge, easy means to accomplish all 
kinds of acts and receptacle of all kinds of virtues, is the Science of 
Anvikshaki ever held to be. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Determination of the place of Anvikshaki" 
among Sciences in Book I, "Concerning Discipline" of the 

9 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Arthasastra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER III. THE END OF SCIENCES. 

Determination of the place of the Triple Vedas. 

THE three Vedas, Sama, Rik and Yajus, constitute the triple 
Vedas. These together with Atharvaveda and the Itihasaveda are 
(known as) the Vedas. 

Siksha (Phonetics), Kalpa (ceremonial injunctions), 
Vyakarana (grammar), Nirukta (glossarial explanation of obscure 
Vedic terms), Chandas (Prosody), and Astronomy form the Angas. 

As the triple Vedas definitely determine the respective duties 
of the four castes and of the four orders of religious life, they are 
the most useful. 

The duty of the Brahman is study, teaching, performance of 
sacrifice, officiating in others' sacrificial performance and the 
giving and receiving of gifts. 

That of a Kshatriya is study, performance of sacrifice, giving 
gifts, military occupation, and protection of life. 

That of a Vaisya is study, performance of sacrifice, giving 
gifts, agriculture, cattle breeding, and trade. 

That of a Sudra is the serving of twice-born (dvijati), 
agriculture, cattle-breeding, and trade (varta), the profession of 
artizans and court-bards (karukusilavakarma). 

10 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The duty of a householder is earning livelihood by his own 
profession, marriage among his equals of different ancestral Rishis, 
intercourse with his wedded wife after her monthly ablution, gifts 
to gods, ancestors, guests, and servants, and the eating of the 
remainder. 

That of a student (Brahmacharin) is learning the Vedas, 
fire-worship, ablution, living by begging, and devotion to his 
teacher even at the cost of his own life, or in the absence of his 
teacher, to the teacher's son, or to an elder classmate. 

That of a Vanaprastha (forest-recluse) is observance of 
chastity, sleeping on the bare ground, keeping twisted locks, 
wearing deer-skin, fire-worship, ablution, worship of gods, 
ancestors, and guests, and living upon food stuffs procurable in 
forests. 

That of an ascetic retired from the world (Parivrajaka) is 
complete control of the organs of sense, abstaining from all kinds 
of work, disowning money, keeping from society, begging in many 
places, dwelling in forests, and purity both internal and external. 

Harmlessness, truthfulness, purity, freedom from spite, 
abstinence from cruelty, and forgiveness are duties common to all. 

The observance of one's own duty leads one to Svarga and 
infinite bliss (Anantya). When it is violated, the world will come to 
an end owing to confusion of castes and duties. 

Hence the king shall never allow people to swerve from their 
duties; for whoever upholds his own duty, ever adhering to the 
customs of the Aryas, and following the rules of caste and divisions 
of religious life, will surely, be happy both here and hereafter. For 
the world, when maintained in accordance with injunctions of the 
triple Vedas, will surely progress, but never perish. 

11 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



[Thus ends Chapter III, "Determination of the place of the Triple 
Vedas" among Sciences in Book I, "Concerning Discipline" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER IV. THE END OF SCIENCES. 

Varta and Dandaniti. 

AGRICULTURE, cattle-breeding and trade constitute Varta. 
It is most useful in that it brings in grains, cattle, gold, forest 
produce (kupya), and free labour (vishti). It is by means of the 
treasury and the army obtained solely through Varta that the king 
can hold under his control both his and his enemy's party. 

That sceptre on which the well-being and progress of the 
sciences of Anvikshaki, the triple Vedas, and Varta depend is 
known as Danda (punishment). That which treats of Danda is the 
law of punishment or science of government (dandaniti). 

It is a means to make acquisitions, to keep them secure, to 
improve them, and to distribute among the deserved the profits of. 
improvement. It is on this science of government that the course of 
the progress of the world depends. 

"Hence," says my teacher, "whoever is desirous of the 
progress of the world shall ever hold the sceptre raised 
(udyatadanda). Never can there be a better instrument than the 
sceptre to bring people under control." 

"No," says Kautilya; for whoever imposes severe punishment 
becomes repulsive to the people; while he who awards mild 
punishment becomes contemptible. But whoever imposes 

12 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



punishment as deserved becomes respectable. For punishment 
(danda) when awarded with due consideration, makes the people 
devoted to righteousness and to works productive of wealth and 
enjoyment; while punishment, when ill-awarded under the 
influence of greed and anger or owing to ignorance, excites fury 
even among hermits and ascetics dwelling in forests, not to speak 
of householders. 

But when the law of punishment is kept in abeyance, it gives 
rise to such disorder as is implied in the proverb of fishes 
(matsyanyayamudbhavayati); for in the absence of a magistrate 
(dandadharabhave), the strong will swallow the weak; but under 
his protection, the weak resist the strong. 

This people (loka) consisting of four castes and four orders of 
religious life, when governed by the king with his sceptre, will 
keep to their respective paths, ever devotedly adhering to their 
respective duties and occupations. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "Determination of the Place of Varta and of 
Dandaniti" among Sciences in Book I, "Concerning Discipline" of 
the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. "The End of Sciences" is completed.] 



CHAPTER V. ASSOCIATION WITH THE AGED. 

HENCE the (first) three sciences (out of the four) are 
dependent for their well-being on the science of government. 
Danda, punishment, which alone can procure safety and security of 
life is, in its turn, dependent on discipline (yinaya). 

Discipline is of two kinds: artificial and natural; for 

13 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



instruction (kriya) can render only a docile being conformable to 
the rules of discipline, and not an undocile being (adravyam). The 
study of sciences can tame only those who are possessed of such 
mental faculties as obedience, hearing, grasping, retentive 
memory, discrimination, inference, and deliberation, but not others 
devoid of such faculties. 

Sciences shall be studied and their precepts strictly observed 
under the authority of specialist teachers. 

Having undergone the ceremony of tonsure, the student shall 
learn the alphabet (lipi) and arithmetic. After investiture with 
sacred thread, he shall study the triple Vedas, the science of 
Anvikshaki under teachers of acknowledged authority (sishta), the 
science of Vatra under government superintendents, and the 
science of Dandaniti under theoretical and practical politicians 
(vaktriprayoktribhyah) . 

He (the prince) shall observe celibacy till he becomes sixteen 
years old. Then he shall observe the ceremony of tonsure (godana) 
and marry. 

In view of maintaining efficient discipline, he shall ever and 
invariably keep company with aged professors of sciences in 
whom alone discipline has its firm root. 

He shall spend the forenoon in receiving lessons in military 
arts concerning elephants, horses, chariots, and weapons, and the 
afternoon in hearing the Itihasa. 

Purana, Itivritta (history), Akhyayika (tales), Udaharana 
(illustrative stories), Dharmasastra, and Arthasastra are (known 
by the name) Itihasa. 



14 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



During the rest of the day and night, he shall not only receive 
new lessons and revise old lessons, but also hear over and again 
what has not been clearly understood. 

For from hearing (sutra) ensues knowledge; from knowledge 
steady application (yoga) is possible; and from application 
self-possession (atmavatta) is possible. This is what is meant by 
efficiency of learning (yidhyasamarthyam). 

The king who is well educated and disciplined in sciences, 
devoted to good Government of his subjects, and bent on doing 
good to all people will enjoy the earth unopposed. 

[Thus ends Chapter V, "Association with the Aged" in Book I, 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER VI. RESTRAINT OF THE ORGANS OF SENSE. 

The Shaking off of the Aggregate of the Six Enemies. 

RESTRAINT of the organs of sense, on which success in 
study and discipline depends can be enforced by abandoning lust, 
anger, greed, vanity (mdna), haughtiness (mada), and overjoy 
(harsha). 

Absence of discrepancy (avipratipatti) in the perception of 
sound, touch, colour, flavour, and scent by means of the ear, the 
skin, the eyes, the tongue, and the nose, is what is meant by the 
restraint of the organs of sense. Strict observance of the precepts of 
sciences also means the same; for the sole aim of all the sciences is 
nothing but restraint of the organs of sense. 

Whosoever is of reverse character, whoever has not his 

15 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



organs of sense under his control, will soon perish, though 
possessed of the whole earth bounded by the four quarters. 

For example: Bhoja, known also by the name, Ddndakya, 
making a lascivious attempt on a Brahman maiden, perished along 
with his kingdom and relations; 

So also Kardla, the Vaideha. Likewise Janamejaya under the 
influence of anger against Brdhmans, as well as Tdlajangha 
against the family of Bhrigus. 

Aila in his attempt under the influence of greed to make 
exactions from Brdhmans, as well as Ajabindu, the Sauvira (in a 
similar attempt); 

Rdvana unwilling under the influence of vanity to restore a 
stranger's wife, as well as Duryodhana to part with a portion of his 
kingdom; Dambhodbhava as well as Arjuna of Haihaya dynasty 
being so haughty as to despise all people; 

Vdtdpi in his attempt under the influence of overjoy to attack 
Agastya, as well as the corporation of the Vrishnis in their attempt 
against Dvaipdyana. 

Thus these and other several kings, falling a prey to the 
aggregate of the six enemies and having failed to restrain their 
organs of sense, perished together with their kingdom and 
relations. Having driven out the aggregate of the six enemies, as 
well as Ambarisha of Jdmadagnya famous for his restraint of the 
organs of sense Ndbhdga long enjoyed the earth. 

[Thus ends Chapter VI, "The Shaking off of the Aggregate of the 
Six Enemies" in the section of the "Restraint Of the Organs of 
Sense" in Book I, "Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya.] 

16 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER VII. RESTRAINT OF THE ORGANS OF SENSE. 

The Life of a Saintly King. 

HENCE by overthrowing the aggregate of the six enemies, he 
shall restrain the organs of sense; acquire wisdom by keeping 
company with the aged; see through his spies; establish safety and 
security by being ever active; maintain his subjects in the 
observance of their respective duties by exercising authority; keep 
up his personal discipline by receiving lessons in the sciences; and 
endear himself to the people by bringing them in contact with 
wealth and doing good to them. 

Thus with his organs of sense under his control, he shall keep 
away from hurting the women and property of others; avoid not 
only lustfulness, even in dream, but also falsehood, haughtiness, 
and evil proclivities; and keep away from unrighteous and 
uneconomical transactions. 

Not violating righteousness and economy, he shall enjoy his 
desires. He shall never be devoid of happiness. He may enjoy in an 
equal degree the three pursuits of life, charity, wealth, and desire, 
which are inter-dependent upon each other. Any one of these three, 
when enjoyed to an excess, hurts not only the other two, but also 
itself. 

Kautilya holds that wealth and wealth alone is important, 
inasmuch as charity and desire depend upon wealth for their 
realisation. 

Those teachers and ministers who keep him from falling a 
prey to dangers, and who, by striking the hours of the day as 
determined by measuring shadows (chhdydndlikdpratodena) warn 

17 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



him of his careless proceedings even in secret shall invariably be 
respected. 

Sovereignty (rdjatva) is possible only with assistance. A 
single wheel can never move. Hence he shall employ ministers and 
hear their opinion. 

[Thus ends Chapter VII, "The Life of a Saintly King" in the section 
of the "Restraint of the Organs of Sense," in Book I, "Concerning 
Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya; "Restraint of the 
Organs of Sense" is completed.] 



CHAPTER VIII. CREATION OF MINISTERS. 

"THE King," says Bhdradvdja, "shall employ his classmates 
as his ministers; for they can be trusted by him inasmuch as he has 
personal knowledge of their honesty and capacity." 

"No," says Visdldksha, "for, as they have been his playmates 
as well, they would despise him. But he shall employ as ministers 
those whose secrets, possessed of in common, are well known to 
him. Possessed of habits and defects in common, with the king, 
they would never hurt him lest he would betray their secrets." 

"Common is this fear," says Pardsara, "for under the fear of 
betrayal of his own secrets, the king may also follow them in their 
good and bad acts. 

"Under the control of as many persons as are made aware by 
the king of his own secrets, might he place himself in all humility 
by that disclosure. Hence he shall employ as ministers those who 
have proved faithful to him under difficulties fatal to life and are of 
tried devotion." 

18 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



"No," says Pisuna, "for this is devotion, but not intelligence 
(buddhigunah). He shall appoint as ministers those who, when 
employed as financial matters, show as much as, or more than, the 
fixed revenue, and are thus of tried ability." 

"No," says Kaunapadanta, "for such persons are devoid of 
other ministerial qualifications; he shall, therefore, employ as 
ministers those whose fathers and grandfathers had been ministers 
before; such persons, in virtue of their knowledge of past events 
and of an established relationship with the king, will, though 
offended, never desert him; for such faithfulness is seen even 
among dumb animals; cows, for example, stand aside from strange 
cows and ever keep company with accustomed herds." 

"No," says Vdtavyddhi, "for such persons, having acquired 
complete dominion over the king, begin to play themselves as the 
king. Hence he shall employ as ministers such new persons as are 
proficient in the science of polity. It is such new persons who will 
regard the king as the real sceptre-bearer (dandadhara) and dare 
not offend him." 

"No," says the son of Bdhudanti (a woman); "for a man 
possessed of only theoretical knowledge and having no experience 
of practical politics is likely to commit serious blunders when 
engaged in actual works. Hence he shall employ as ministers such 
as are born of high family and possessed of wisdom, purity of 
purpose, bravery and loyal feelings inasmuch as ministerial 
appointments shall purely depend on qualifications." 

"This," says Kautilya, "is satisfactory in all respects; for a 
man's ability is inferred from his capacity shown in work. And in 
accordance in difference in the working capacity, 

Having divided the spheres of their powers and having 

19 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



definitely taken into consideration the place and time where and 
when they have to work, such persons shall be employed not as 
councillors (mantrinah) but as ministerial officers (amdtyah). 

[Thus ends Chapter VIII, "Creation of Ministers" in Book I, 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER IX. THE CREATION OF COUNCILLORS AND 
PRIESTS. 

NATIVE, born of high family, influential, well trained in arts, 
possessed of foresight, wise, of strong memory, bold, eloquent, 
skillful, intelligent, possessed of enthusiasm, dignity, and 
endurance, pure in character, affable, firm in loyal devotion, 
endowed with excellent conduct, strength, health and bravery, free 
from procrastination and ficklemindedness, affectionate, and free 
from such qualities as excite hatred and enmity— these are the 
qualifications of a ministerial officer (amdtyasampat). 

Such as are possessed of one-half or one-quarter of the above 
qualifications come under middle and low ranks. 

Of these qualifications, native birth and influential position 
shall be ascertained from reliable persons; educational 
qualifications (silpa) from professors of equal learning; theoretical 
and practical knowledge, foresight, retentive memory, and 
affability shall be tested from successful, application in works; 
eloquence, skillfulness and flashing intelligence from power 
shown in narrating stories (kathdyogeshu, i.e., in conversation); 
endurance, enthusiasm, and bravery in troubles; purity of life, 
friendly disposition, and loyal devotion by frequent association; 

20 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



conduct, strength, health, dignity, and freedom from indolence and 
ficklemindedness shall be ascertained from their intimate friends; 
and affectionate and philanthrophic nature by personal experience. 

The works of a king may be visible, invisible (paroksha) and 
inferential. 

That which he sees is visible; and that which he is taught by 
another is invisible; and inference of the nature of what is not 
accomplished from what is accomplished is inferential.. 

As works do not happen to be simultaneous, are various in 
form, and pertain to distant and different localities, the king shall, 
in view of being abreast of time and place, depute his ministers to 
carry them out. Such is the work of ministers. 

Him whose family and character are highly spoken of, who is 
well educated in the Vedds and the six Angas, is skillful in reading 
portents providential or accidental, is well versed in the science of 
government, and who is obedient and who can prevent calamities 
providential or human by performing such expiatory rites as are 
prescribed in the Atharvaveda, the king shall employ as high priest. 
As a student his teacher, a son his father, and a servant his master, 
the king shall follow him. 

That Kshatriya breed which is brought up by Brdhmans, is 
charmed with the counsels of good councillors, and which 
faithfully follows the precepts of the sdstras becomes invincible 
and attains success though unaided with weapons. 

[Thus ends Chapter IX, "Creation of Councillors and Priests" in 
Book I "Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



21 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER X. ASCERTAINING BY TEMPTATIONS 
PURITY OR IMPURITY IN THE CHARACTER OF 
MINISTERS. 

ASSISTED by his prime minister (mantri) and his high priest, 
the king shall, by offering temptations, examine the character of 
ministers (amdtya) appointed in government departments of 
ordinary nature. 

The king shall dismiss a priest who, when ordered, refuses to 
teach the Vedds to an outcaste person or to officiate in a sacrificial 
performance (apparently) undertaken by an outcaste person 
(aydjya). 

Then the dismissed priest shall, through the medium of spies 
under the guise of class-mates (satri), instigate each minister one 
after another, saying on oath "this king is unrighteous; well let us 
set up in his place another king who is righteous, or who is born of 
the same family as of this king, or who is kept imprisoned, or a 
neighbouring king of his family and of self-sufficiency 
(ekapragraha), or a wild chief (atavika), or an upstart 
(aupapddika); this attempt is to the liking of all of us; what dost 
thou think ?" 

If any one or all of the ministers refuse to acquiesce in such a 
measure, he or they shall be considered pure. This is what is called 
religious allurement. 

A commander of the army, dismissed from service for 
receiving condemnable things (asatpragraha) may, through the 
agency of spies under the guise of class-mates {satri), incite each 
minister to murder the king in view of acquiring immense wealth, 
each minister being asked "this attempt is to the liking of all of us; 
what dost thou think?" 

22 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



If they refuse to agree, they are to be considered pure. This is 
what is termed monetary allurement. 

A woman-spy under the guise of an ascetic and highly 
esteemed in the harem of the king may allure each prime minister 
(mahdmdtra) one after another, saying "the queen is enamoured of 
thee and has made arrangements for thy entrance into her chamber; 
besides this, there is also the certainty of large acquisitions of 
wealth." 



If they discard the proposal, they are pure. This is what is 
styled love-allurement. 

With the intention of sailing on a commercial vessel 
(prahavananimittam), a minister may induce all other ministers to 
follow him. Apprehensive of danger, the king may arrest them all. 
A spy under the guise of a fraudulent disciple, pretending to have 
suffered imprisonment may incite each of the ministers thus 
deprived of wealth and rank, saying, "the king has betaken himself 
to an unwise course; well, having murdered him, let us put another 
in his stead. We all like this; what dost thou think?" 

If they refuse to agree, they are pure. This is what is termed 
allurement under fear. 

Of these tried ministers, those whose character has been 
tested under religious allurements shall be employed in civil and 
criminal courts (dharmasthaniyakantaka sodhaneshu); those 
whose purity has been tested under monetary allurements shall be 
employed in the work of a revenue collector and chamberlain; 
those who have been tried under love-allurements shall be 
appointed to superintend the pleasure-grounds (vihdra) both 
external and internal; those who have been tested by allurements 
under fear shall be appointed to immediate service; and those 

23 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



whose character has been tested under all kinds of allurements 
shall be employed as prime ministers (mantrinah), while those who 
are proved impure under one or all of these allurements shall be 
appointed in mines, timber and elephant forests, and 
manufactories. 

Teachers have decided that in accordance with ascertained 
purity, the king shall employ in corresponding works those 
ministers whose character has been tested under the three pursuits 
of life, religion, wealth and love, and under fear. 

Never, in the view of Kautilya, shall the king make himself or 
his queen an object (laksham, butt) of testing the character of his 
councillors, nor shall he vitiate the pure like water with poison. 

Sometimes the prescribed medicine may fail to reach the 
person of moral disease; the mind of the valiant, though naturally 
kept steadfast, may not, when once vitiated and repelled under the 
four kinds of allurements, return to and recover its original form. 

Hence having set up an external object as the butt for all the 
four kinds of allurements, the king shall, through the agency of 
spies (satri), find out the pure or impure character of his ministers 
(amdtya). 

[Thus ends Chapter X, "Ascertaining by Temptations Purity or 
Impurity in the Character of Ministers," in Book I, "Concerning 
Discipline" of the Arthas as tra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER XI. THE INSTITUTION OF SPIES. 

ASSISTED by the council of his ministers tried under 

24 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 

espionage, the king shall proceed to create spies: —Spies under the 
guise of a fraudulent disciple (kdpatikachhdtra), a recluse 
(uddsthita), a householder (grihapaitika), a merchant (vaidehaka), 
an ascetic practising austerities (tdpasa), a class-mate or a 
colleague (satri), a fire-brand (tikshna), a poisoner (rasada), and a 
mendicant woman (bhikshuki). 

A skillful person capable of guessing the mind of others is a 
fraudulent disciple. Having encouraged such a spy with honour and 
money rewards, the minister shall tell him, "sworn to the king and 
myself, thou shalt inform us of whatever wickedness thou findest 
in others." 

One who is initiated in asceticism and is possessed of 
foresight and pure character is a recluse. This spy, provided with 
much money and many disciples, shall carry on agriculture, 
cattle -rearing, and trade (ydrtakarma) on the lands allotted to him 
for the purpose. Out of the produce and profits thus acquired, he 
shall provide all ascetics with subsistence, clothing and lodging, 
and send on espionage such among those under his protection as 
are desirous to earn a livelihood (vrittikdma), ordering each of 
them to detect a particular kind of crime committed in connection 
with the king's wealth and to report of it when they come to receive 
their subsistence and wages. All the ascetics (under the recluse) 
shall severally send their followers on similar errands. 

A cultivator, fallen from his profession, but possessed of 
foresight and pure character is termed a householder spy. This spy 
shall carry on the cultivation of lands allotted to him for the 
purpose, and maintain cultivators, etc.— as before. 

A trader, fallen from his profession, but possessed of 
foresight and pure character, is a merchant spy. This spy shall carry 
on the manufacture of merchandise on lands allotted to him for the 

25 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



purpose, etc.,— as before. 

A man with shaved head (munda) or braided hair (jatila) and 
desirous to earn livelihood is a spy under the guise of an ascetic 
practising austerities. Such a spy surrounded by a host of disciples 
with shaved head or braided hair may take his abode in the suburbs 
of a city, and pretend as a person barely living on a handful of 
vegetables or meadow grass (yavasamushti) taken once in the 
interval of a month or two, but he may take in secret his favourite 
food- stuffs (gudhamishtamdhdram) . 

Merchant spies pretending to be his disciples may worship 
him as one possessed of preternatural powers. His other disciples 
may widely proclaim that "this ascetic is an accomplished expert of 
preternatural powers." 

Regarding those persons who, desirous of knowing their 
future, throng to him, he may, through palmistry, foretell such 
future events as he can ascertain by the nods and signs of his 
disciples (angavidyayd sishyasanjndbhischa) concerning the 
works of highborn people of the country,— viz., small profits, 
destruction by fire, fear from robbers, the execution of the 
seditious, rewards for the good, forecast of foreign affairs (videsa 
pravrittivijndnam), saying, "this will happen to-day, that 
to-morrow, and that this king will do." Such assertions of the 
ascetic his disciples shall corroborate (by adducing facts and 
figures). 

He shall also foretell not only the rewards which persons 
possessed of foresight, eloquence, and bravery are likely to receive 
at the hands of the king, but also probable changes in the 
appointments of ministers. 

The king's minister shall direct his affairs in conformity to the 

26 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



forecast made by the ascetic. He shall appease with offer of wealth 
and honour those who have had some well known cause to be 
disaffected, and impose punishments in secret on those who are for 
no reason disaffected or who are plotting against the king. 

Honoured by the king with awards of money and titles, these 
five institutes of espionage (samsthdh) shall ascertain the purity of 
character of the king's servants. 

[Thus ends Chapter XI, "The Institution of Spies" in Book I, 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER XII. INSTITUTION OF SPIES. 

Creation of Wandering Spies. 

THOSE orphans (asambandhinah) who are to be necessarily 
fed by the state and are put to study science, palmistry (angavidya), 
sorcery (mdydgata), the duties of the various orders of religious 
life, legerdemain (jambhakavidya), and the reading of omens and 
augury (antara-chakra), are classmate spies or spies learning by 
social intercourse (samsargavidyasatrinah). 

Such brave desperados of the country who, reckless of their 
own life, confront elephants or tigers in fight mainly for the 
purpose of earning money are termed firebrands or fiery spies 
(tikshna). 

Those who have no trace of filial affection left in them and 
who are very cruel and indolent are poisoners (rasada). 

A poor widow of Brahman caste, very clever, and desirous to 

27 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



earn her livelihood is a woman ascetic (parivrdjikd). Honoured in 
the king's harem, such a woman shall frequent the residences of the 
king's prime ministers (mahdmdtrakuldni). 

The same rule shall apply to women with shaved head 
(munda), as well as to those of sudra caste. All these are wandering 
spies (sanchdrdh). 

Of these spies, those who are of good family, loyal, reliable, 
well-trained in the art of putting on disguises appropriate to 
countries and trades, and possessed of knowledge of many 
languages and arts shall be sent by the king to espy in his own 
country the movements of his ministers, priests, commanders of 
the army, the heir-apparent, the doorkeepers, the officer in charge 
of the harem, the magistrate (prasdstri), the collector- general 
(samdhartri), the chamberlain (sannidhdtri), the commissioner 
(pradeshtri), the city constable (ndyaka), the officer in charge of 
the city (paura), the superintendent of transactions (vydvahdrika), 
the superintendent of manufactories (karmdntika), the assembly of 
councillors (mantriparishad), heads of departments (adhyakshdh), 
the commissary-general (dandapdla), and officers in charge of 
fortifications, boundaries, and wild tracts. 

Fiery spies, such as are employed to hold the royal umbrella, 
vase, fan, and shoes, or to attend at the throne, chariot, and 
conveyance shall espy the public character (bdhyam chdram) of 
these (officers). 

Classmate spies shall convey this information {i.e., that 
gathered by the fiery spies) to the institutes of espionage 
(samsthdsvarpayeyuh) . 

Poisoners such as a sauce-maker (siida), a cook (ardlika), 
procurer of water for bathing (sndpaka) shampooer, the spreader of 

28 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



bed (dstaraka), a barber (kalpaka), toilet-maker (prasddaka), a 
water- servant; servants such as have taken the appearance of a 
hump-backed person, a dwarf, a pigmy (kirdta), the dumb, the 
deaf, the idiot, the blind; artisans such as actors, dancers, singers, 
players on musical instruments, buffoons, and a bard; as well as 
women shall espy the private character of these officers. 

A mendicant woman shall convey this information to the 
institute of espionage. 

The immediate officers of the institutes of espionage 
(samsthdndmantevdsinah) shall by making use of signs or writing 
(samjndlipibhih) set their own spies in motion (to ascertain the 
validity of the information). 

Neither the institutes of espionage nor they (the wandering 
spies) shall know each other. 

If a mendicant woman is stopped at the entrance, the line of 
door-keepers., spies under the guise of father and mother 
(mdtdpitri vyanjandh), women artisans, court-bards, or prostitutes 
shall, under the pretext of taking in musical instruments, or through 
cipher- writing (gudhalekhya), or by means of signs, convey the 
information to its destined place (chdram nirhareyuh.) 

(Spies of the institutes of espionage) may suddenly go out 
under the pretext of long standing disease, or lunacy, or by setting 
fire (to something) or by administering poison (to some one). 

When the information thus received from these three different 
sources is exactly of the same version, it shall be held reliable. If 
they (the three sources) frequently differ, the spies concerned shall 
either be punished in secret or dismissed. 

Those spies who are referred to in Book IV, "Removal of 

29 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Thorns," shall receive their salaries from those kings (para, i.e., 
foreign) with whom they live as servants; but when they aid both 
the states in the work of catching hold of robbers, they shall 
become recipients of salaries from both the states 
(ubhayavetandh). 

Those whose sons and wives are kept (as hostages) shall be 
made recipients of salaries from two states and considered as under 
the mission of enemies. Purity of character of such persons shall be 
ascertained through persons of similar profession. 

Thus with regard to kings who are inimical, friendly, 
intermediate, of low rank, or neutral, and with regard to their 
eighteen government departments (ashtdldasa-tirtha), spies shall 
be set in motion. 

The hump-backed, the dwarf, the eunuch, women of 
accomplishments, the dumb, and various grades of Mlechcha caste 
shall be spies inside their houses. 

Merchant spies inside forts; saints and ascetics in the suburbs 
of forts; the cultivator and the recluse in country parts; herdsmen in 
the boundaries of the country; in forests, forest-dwellers, 
sramands, and chiefs of wild tribes, shall be stationed to ascertain 
the movements of enemies. All these spies shall be very quick in 
the dispatch of their work. 

Spies set up by foreign kings shall also be found out by local 
spies; spies by spies of like profession. It is the institutes of 
espionage, secret or avowed, that set spies in motion. 

Those chiefs whose inimical design has been found out by 
spies supporting the king's cause shall, in view of affording 
opportunity to detect the spies of foreign kings, be made to live on 

30 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the boundaries of the state. 

[Thus ends Chapter XII, "Creation of Wandering Spies" in the 
section of "The Institution of Spies," in Book I. "Concerning 
Discipline" of the Arthas as tra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER XIII. PROTECTION OF PARTIES FOR OR 
AGAINST ONES OWN CAUSE IN ONES OWN STATE. 

HAVING set up spies over his prime ministers (mahdmdtra), 
the king shall proceed to espy both citizens and country people. 

Classmate spies (satri) formed as opposing factions shall 
carry on disputations in places of pilgrimage (tirtha), in 
assemblies, houses, corporations (piiga), and amid congregations 
of people. One spy may say:— 

"This king is said to be endowed with all desirable qualities; 
he seems to be a stranger to such tendencies as would lead him to 
oppress citizens and country people by levying heavy fines and 
taxes." 

Against those who seem to commend this opinion, another 
spy may interrupt the speaker and say:- 

"People suffering from anarchy as illustrated by the 
proverbial tendency of a large fish swallowing a small one 
(mdtsyanydydbhibhutah prajdh), first elected Manu, the 
Vaivasvata, to be their king; and allotted one-sixth of the grains 
grown and one-tenth of merchandise as sovereign dues. Fed by this 
payment, kings took upon themselves the responsibility of 
maintaining the safety and security of their subjects 

31 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(yogakshemavahdh), and of being answerable for the sins of their 
subjects when the principle of levying just punishments and taxes 
has been violated. Hence hermits, too, provide the king with 
one-sixth of the grains gleaned by them, thinking that 'it is a tax 
payable to him who protects us.' It is the king in whom the duties 
of both Indra (the rewarder) and Yama (the punisher) are blended, 
and he is a visible dispenser of punishments and rewards (heda- 
prasdda); whoever disregards kings will be visited with divine 
punishments, too. Hence kings shall never be despised." 

Thus treacherous opponents of sovereignty shall be silenced. 

Spies shall also know the rumours prevalent in the state. Spies 
with shaved heads or braided hair shall ascertain whether there 
prevails content or discontent among those who live upon the 
grains, cattle, and gold of the king, among those who supply the 
same (to the king) in weal or woe, those who keep under restraint a 
disaffected relative of the king or a rebellious district, as well as 
those who drive away an invading enemy or a wild tribe. The 
greater the contentment of such persons, the more shall be the 
honour shown to them; while those who are disaffected shall be 
ingratiated by rewards or conciliation; or dissension may be sown 
among them so that they may alienate themselves from each other, 
from a neighbouring enemy, from a wild tribe, or from a banished 
or imprisoned prince. Failing this measure, they may be so 
employed in collecting fines and taxes as to incur the displeasure of 
the people. Those who are inebriated with feelings of enmity may 
be put down by punishment in secret or by making them incur the 
displeasure of the whole country. Or having taken the sons and 
wives of such treacherous persons under State protection, they may 
be made to live in mines, lest they may afford shelter to enemies. 

Those that are angry, those that are greedy, those that are 
alarmed, as well as those that despise the king are the instruments 

32 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



of enemies. Spies under the guise of astrologers and tellers of 
omens and augury shall ascertain the relationship of such persons 
with each other and with foreign kings. 

Honours and rewards shall be conferred upon those that are 
contented, while those that are disaffected shall be brought round 
by conciliation, by gifts, or by sowing dissension, or by 
punishment. 

Thus in his own state a wise king shall guard factions among 
his people, friendly or hostile, powerful or powerless against the 
intrigue of foreign kings. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIII, "Protection of Parties for or against One's 
Own Cause in One's Own State," in Book I, "Concerning 
Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER XIV. WINNING OVER FACTIONS FOR OR 
AGAINST AN ENEMY'S CAUSE IN AN ENEMY'S STATE. 

PROTECTION of parties for or against one's own cause in 
one's own state has been dealt with. Similar measures in 
connection with parties in a foreign state are to be treated of. 

Those who are deluded with false promise of large rewards; 
those of whom one party, though equally skillful as another party 
in artistic work or in turning out productive or beneficial works, is 
slighted by bestowing larger rewards on its rival party; those who 
are harassed by courtiers (Vallabhd-varuddhdh); those who are 
invited to be slighted; those who are harassed by banishment; those 
who in spite of their large outlay of money have failed in their 

33 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



undertakings; those who are prevented from the exercise of their 
rights or from taking possession of their inheritance; those who 
have fallen from their rank and honours in government service; 
those who are shoved to the corner by their own kinsmen; those 
whose women are violently assaulted; those who are thrown in jail; 
those who are punished in secret; those who are warned of their 
misdeeds; those whose property has been wholly confiscated; 
those who have long suffered from imprisonment; those whose 
relatives are banished— all these come under the group of 
provoked persons. 

He who has fallen a victim to misfortune by his own 
misdeeds; he who is offended (by the king); he whose sinful deeds 
are brought to light; he who is alarmed at the award of punishment 
on a man of like guilt; he whose lands have been confiscated; he 
whose rebellious spirit is put down by coercive measures; he who, 
as a superintendent of all government departments, has suddenly 
amassed a large amount of wealth; he who, as a relative of such a 
rich man aspires to inherit his wealth; he who is disliked by the 
king; and he who hates the king,— all these come under the group of 
persons alarmed. 

He who is impoverished; he who has lost much wealth; he 
who is niggardly; he who is addicted to evil propensities; and he 
who is engaged in dangerous transactions,— all these constitute the 
group of ambitious persons. 

He who is self-sufficient; he who is fond of honours; he who 
is intolerant of his rival's honour; he who is esteemed low; he who 
is of a fiery spirit; he who is foolhardy as well as he who is not 
content with what he has been enjoying,— all these come under the 
group of haughty persons. 

Of these, he who clings to a particular faction shall be so 

34 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



deluded by spies with shaved head or braided hair as to believe that 
he is intriguing with that party. Partisans under provocation, for 
example, may be won over by telling that 'just as an elephant in rut 
and mounted over by a driver under intoxication tramples under its 
foot whatever it comes across, so this king, dispossessed of the eye 
of science, blindly attempts to oppress both citizens and country 
people; it is possible to restrain him by setting up a rival elephant 
against him; so have forbearance enough (to wait).' 

Likewise alarmed persons may be won over by telling that 
'just as a hidden snake bites and emits poison over whatever alarms 
it, so this king apprehensive of danger from thee will ere long emit 
the poison of his resentment on thee; so thou mayest better go 
elsewhere.' 

Similarly ambitious persons may be won over by telling that 
'just as a cow reared by dog-keepers gives milk to dogs, but not to 
Brdhmans, so this king gives milk (rewards) to those who are 
devoid of valour, foresight, eloquence and bravery, but not to those 
who are possessed of noble character; so the other king who is 
possessed of power to discriminate men from men may be 
courted. ' 

In like manner haughty persons may be won over by telling 
that 'just as a reservoir of water belonging to Chdnddlas is 
serviceable only to Chdnddlas, but not to others, so this king of 
low-birth confers his patronage only on low-born people, but not 
on Aryas like thee; so the other king who is possessed of power to 
distinguish between men and men may be courted.' 

All these disaffected persons, when acquiescing to the above 
proposals, may be made under a solumn compact (panakarmand) 
to form a combination together with the spies to achieve their end. 

Likewise friends of a foreign king may also be won over by 

35 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



means of persuation and rewards, while implacable enemies may 
be brought round by sowing dissensions, by threats, and by 
pointing out the defects of their master. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIV, "Winning over Factions for or against an 
Enemy's Cause in an Enemy's State," in Book I, "Concerning 
Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER XV. THE BUSINESS OF COUNCIL MEETING. 

HAVING gained a firm hold on the affection of both local 
and foreign parties both in his own and enemy's state, the king shall 
proceed to think of administrative measures. 

All kinds of administrative measures are preceded by 
deliberations in a well-formed council. The subject matter of a 
council shall be entirely secret and deliberations in it shall be so 
carried that even birds cannot see them; for it is said that the 
secrecy of counsels was divulged by parrots, minas, dogs and other 
low creatures of mean birth. Hence without providing himself with 
sufficient safeguard against disclosure, he shall never enter into 
deliberations in a council. 

Whoever discloses counsels shall be torn to pieces. The 
disclosure of counsels may be detected by observing changes in the 
attitude and countenance of envoys, ministers, and masters. 
Change in conduct is change in attitude (ingitamanyathdvrittih); 
and observation of physical appearance is countenance 
(dkritigrahanamdkdrah). 

Maintenance of the secrecy of a council-matter, and keeping 

36 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



guard over officers that have taken part in the deliberation over it 
(shall be strictly observed) till the time of starting the work so 
considered approaches. 

Carelessness, intoxication, talking in sleep, love and other 
evil habits of councillors are the causes of the betrayal of counsels. 

Whoever is of hidden nature or is disregarded will disclose 
counsels. Hence steps shall be taken to safeguard counsels against 
such dangers. Disclosure of counsels is advantageous to persons 
other than the king and his officers. 

"Hence," says Bhdradvdja, "the king shall singly deliberate 
over secret matters; for ministers have their own ministers, and 
these latter some of their own; this kind of successive line of 
ministers tends to the disclosure of counsels. 

"Hence no outside person shall know anything of the work 
which the king has in view. Only those who are employed to carry 
it out shall know it either when it is begun or when accomplished." 

"No deliberation," says Visdldksha, "made by a single person 
will be successful; the nature of the work which a sovereign has to 
do is to be inferred from the consideration of both the visible and 
invisible causes. The perception of what is not or cannot be seen, 
the conclusive decision of whatever is seen, the clearance of doubts 
as to whatever is susceptible of two opinions, and the inference of 
the whole when only a part is seen— all this is possible of decision 
only by ministers. Hence he shall sit at deliberation with persons of 
wide intellect. 

He shall despise none, but hear the opinions of all. A wise 
man shall make use of even a child's sensible utterance. 

"This is," says Pardsara "ascertaining the opinions of others, 

37 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



but not keeping counsels. He shall ask his ministers for their 
opinion, on a work similar to the one he has in view, telling them 
that "this is the work; it happened thus; what is to be done if it will 
turn out thus"; and he shall do as they decide. If it is done thus, both 
the ascertainment of opinions and maintenance of secrecy can be 
attained." 

"Not so," says Pisuna, "for ministers, when called for their 
opinions regarding a distant undertaking, or an accomplished or an 
unaccomplished work, either approach the subject with 
indifference or give their opinions half-heartedly. This is a serious 
defect. Hence he shall consult such persons as are believed to be 
capable of giving decisive opinion regarding those works about 
which he seeks for advice. If he consults thus, he can secure good 
advice as well as secrecy of counsel." 

"Not so," says Kautilya, "for this (kind of seeking for advice) 
is infinite and endless. He shall consult three or four ministers. 
Consultation with a single (minister) may not lead to any definite 
conclusion in cases of complicated issues. A single minister 
proceeds willfully and without restraint. In deliberating with two 
ministers, the king may be overpowered by their combined action, 
or imperiled by their mutual dissension. But with three or four 
ministers he will not come to any serious grief, but will arrive at 
satisfactory results. With ministers more than four in number, he 
will have to come to a decision after a good deal of trouble; nor will 
secrecy of counsel be maintained without much trouble. In 
accordance with the requirements of place, time, and nature of the 
work in view, he may, as he deems it proper, deliberate with one or 
two ministers or by himself. 

Means to carry out works, command of plenty of men and 
wealth, allotment of time and place, remedies against dangers, and 
final success are the five constituents of every council-deliberation. 

38 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The king may ask his ministers for their opinion either 
individually or collectively, and ascertain their ability by judging 
over the reasons they assign for their opinions. 

He shall lose no time when the opportunity waited for 
arrives; nor shall he sit long at consultation with those whose 
parties he intends to hurt. 

The school of Manu say that the assembly of ministers 
(mantriparishad) shall be made to consist of twelve members. 

The school of Brihaspathi say that it shall consist of sixteen 
members. 

The school of Usanas say that it shall consist of twenty 
members. 

But Kautilya holds that it shall consist of as many members as 
the needs of his dominion require (yathdsdmarthyam). 

Those ministers shall have to consider all that concerns the 
parties of both the king and his enemy. They shall also set 
themselves to start the work that is not yet begun, to complete what 
has been begun, to improve what has been accomplished, and to 
enforce strict obedience to orders (niyogasampadam) . 

He shall supervise works in company with his officers that are 
near (dsannaih); and consult by sending writs 
(patrasampreshanena) those that are (not) near (dsanna). 

One thousand sages form Indra's assembly of ministers 
(mantriparishad). They are his eyes. Hence he is called 
thousand-eyed though he possesses only two eyes. 

In works of emergency, he shall call both his ministers and 

39 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the assembly of ministers {mantrino mantriparishadam cha), and 
tell them of the same. He shall do whatever the majority 
(bhuyishthdh) of the members suggest or whatever course of action 
leading to success (kdryasiddhikaram va) they point out. And 
while doing any work, 

None of his enemies (pare) shall know his secret, but he shall 
know the weak points of his enemy. Like a tortoise he shall draw in 
his limbs that are stretched out. 

Just as balls of meal offered to ancestors by a person not 
learned in the Vedas are unfit to be eaten by wise men, so whoever 
is not well versed in sciences shall be unfit to hear of council 
deliberations. 

[Thus ends Chapter XV, "The Business of Council-meeting" in 
Book I, "Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER XVI. THE MISSION OF ENVOYS. 

WHOEVER has succeeded as a councillor is an envoy. 

Whoever possesses ministerial qualifications is a 
charge -d'affaires (nisrishtdrthah) . 

Whoever possesses the same qualifications less by 
one-quarter is an agent entrusted with a definite mission 
(parimitdrthah) . 

Whoever possesses the same qualifications less by one-half is 
a conveyer of royal writs (sdsanaharah). 

Having made excellent arrangements for carriage, 

40 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



conveyance, servants and subsistence, he (an envoy) shall start on 
his mission, thinking that "the enemy shall be told thus: the enemy 
(para) will say, thus; this shall be the reply to him; and thus he shall 
be imposed upon." 

The envoy shall make friendship with the enemy's officers 
such as those in charge of wild tracts, of boundaries, of cities, and 
of country parts. He shall also contrast the military stations, sinews 
of war, and strong-holds of the enemy with those of his own 
master. He shall ascertain the size and area of forts and of the state, 
as well as strongholds of precious things and assailable and 
unassailable points. 

Having obtained permission, he shall enter into the capital of 
the enemy and state the object of the mission as exactly as 
entrusted to him even at the cost of his own life. 

Brightness in the tone, face, and eyes of the enemy; respectful 
reception of the mission; enquiry about the health of friends; taking 
part in the narration of virtues; giving a seat close to the throne; 
respectful treatment of the envoy; remembrance of friends; closing 
the mission with satisfaction;— all these shall be noted as indicating 
the good graces of the enemy and the reverse his displeasure. 

A displeased enemy maybe told:- 

"Messengers are the mouth -pieces of kings, not only of 
thyself, but of all; hence messengers who, in the face of weapons 
raised against them, have to express their mission as exactly as they 
are entrusted with do not, though outcasts, deserve death; where is 
then reason to put messengers of Brahman caste to death? This is 
another's speech. This (i.e., delivery of that speech verbatim) is the 
duty of messengers." 



41 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Not puffed up with the respects shown to him, he shall stay 
there till he is allowed to depart. He shall not care for the 
mightiness of the enemy; shall strictly avoid women and liquor; 
shall take bed single; for it is well-known that the intentions of 
envoys are ascertained while they are asleep or under the influence 
of liquor. 

He shall, through the agency of ascetic and merchant spies or 
through their disciples or through spies under the disguise of 
physicians, and heretics, or through recipients of salaries from two 
states (ubhayavetana), ascertain the nature of the intrigue prevalent 
among parties favourably disposed to his own master, as well as 
the conspiracy of hostile factions, and understand the loyalty or 
disloyalty of the people to the enemy besides any assailable points. 

If there is no possibility of carrying on any such conversation 
(conversation with the people regarding their loyalty), he may try 
to gather such information by observing the talk of beggars, 
intoxicated and insane persons or of persons babbling in sleep, or 
by observing the signs made in places of pilgrimage and temples or 
by deciphering paintings and secret writings 
(chitra-gudha-lekhya-samjnd-bhih). 

Whatever information he thus gathers he shall try to test by 
intrigues. 

He shall not check the estimate which the enemy makes of 
the elements of sovereignty of his own master; but he shall only say 
in reply, 'All is known to thee.' Nor shall he disclose the means 
employed (by his master) to achieve an end in view. 

If he has not succeeded in his mission, but is still detained, he 
shall proceed to infer thus:— 



42 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whether seeing the imminent danger into which my master is 
likely to fall and desirous of averting his own danger; whether in 
view of inciting against my master an enemy threatening in the rear 
or a king whose dominion in the rear is separated by other 
intervening states; whether in view of causing internal rebellion in 
my master's state, or of inciting a wild chief (dtavika) against my 
master; whether in view of destroying my master by employing a 
friend or a king whose dominion stretches out in the rear of my 
master's state (dkranda); whether with the intention of averting the 
internal trouble in his own state or of preventing a foreign invasion 
or the inroads of a wild chief; whether in view of causing the 
approaching time of my master's expedition to lapse; whether with 
the desire of collecting raw materials and merchandise, or of 
repairing his fortifications, or of recruiting a strong army capable 
to fight; whether waiting for the time and opportunity necessary for 
the complete training of his own army; or whether in view of 
making a desirable alliance in order to avert the present contempt 
brought about by his own carelessness, this king detains me thus? 

Then he may stay or get out as he deems it desirable; or he 
may demand a speedy settlement of his mission. 

Or having intimated an unfavourable order (sdsana) to the 
enemy, and pretending apprehension of imprisonment or death, he 
may return even without permission; otherwise he may be 
punished. 

Transmission of missions, maintenance of treaties, issue of 
ultimatum (pratdpa), gaining of friends, intrigue, sowing 
dissension among friends, fetching secret force; carrying away by 
stealth relatives and gems, gathering information about the 
movements of spies, bravery, breaking of treaties of peace, 
winning over the favour of the envoy and government officers of 
the enemy,— these are the duties of an envoy (duta). 

43 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The king shall employ his own envoys to carry on works of 
the above description, and guard himself against (the mischief of) 
foreign envoys by employing counter envoys, spies, and visible 
and invisible watchmen. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVI, "The Mission of Envoys" in Book I, 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 

CHAPTER XVII. PROTECTION OF PRINCES. 

Protection of Princes 

HAVING secured his own personal safety first from his 
wives and sons, the king can be in a position to maintain the 
security of his kingdom against immediate enemies as well as 
foreign kings. 

We shall treat of "Protection of Wives" in connection with 
"Duties toward's the Harem." 

Ever since the birth of princes, the king shall take special 
care of them. 

"For," says Bhdradvdja, "princes like crabs have a notorious 
tendency of eating up their begetter. When they are wanting in 
filial affection, they shall better be punished in secret 
{updm.sudandah)r 

"This is," says Visdldksha, "cruelty, destruction of fortune, 
and extirpation of the seed of the race of Kshattriyas. Hence it is 
better to keep them under guard in a definite place." 

"This," say the school of Pardsara, "is akin to the fear from a 
lurking snake (ahibhayam); for a prince may think that 

44 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



apprehensive of danger, his father has locked him up, and may 
attempt to put his own father on his lap. Hence it is better to keep a 
prince under the custody of boundary guards or inside a fort." 

"This," says Pisuna, "is akin to the fear (from a wolf in the 
midst) of a flock of sheep (aurabhrakam bhayam); for after 
understanding the cause of his rustication, he may avail himself of 
the opportunity to, make an alliance with the boundary guards 
(against his father). Hence it is better to throw him inside a fort 
belonging to a foreign king far away from his own state." 

"This," says Kaunapadanta, "is akin to the position of a calf 
(vatsasthdnam); for just as a man milks a cow with the help of its 
calf, so the foreign king may milk (reduce) the prince's father. 
Hence it is better to make a prince live with his maternal relations." 

"This," says Vdtavyddhi "is akin to the position of a flag 
(dhvajasthdnametat): for as in the case of Aditi and Kausika, the 
prince's maternal relations may, unfurling this flag, go on begging. 
Hence princes may be suffered to dissipate their lives by sensual 
excesses (grdmyadharma) inasmuch as revelling sons do not 
dislike their indulgent father." 

"This," says Kautilya, "is death in life; for no sooner is a royal 
family with a prince or princes given to dissipation attacked, than it 
perishes like a worm-eaten piece of wood. Hence when the queen 
attains the age favourable for procreation, priests shall offer to 
Indra and Brihaspati the requisite oblations. When she is big with a 
child, the king shall observe the instructions of midwifery with 
regard to gestation and delivery. After delivery, the priests shall 
perform the prescribed purificatory ceremonials. When the prince 
attains the necessary age, adepts shall train him under proper 
discipline." 



45 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



"Any one of the classmate spies," say (politicians known as) 
Ambhiyas, "may allure the prince towards hunting, gambling, 
liquor, and women, and instigate him to attack his own father and 
snatch the reins of government in his own hands. Another spy shall 
prevent him from such acts." 

"There can be," says Kautilya, "no greater crime or sin than 
making wicked impressions on an innocent mind; just as a fresh 
object is stained with whatever it is brought in close association, so 
a prince with fresh mind is apt to regard as scientific injunctions all 
that he is told of. Hence he shall be taught only of righteousness 
and of wealth (artha), but not of unrighteousness and of 
non-wealth. Classmate spies shall be so courteous towards him as 
to say "thine are we." When under the temptation of youth, he turns 
his eye towards women, impure women under the disguise of 
Aryas shall, at night and in lonely places, terrify him; when fond of 
liquor, he shall be terrified by making him drink such liquor as is 
adulterated with narcotics (yogapdna); when fond of gambling, he 
shall be terrified by spies under the disguise of fraudulent persons; 
when fond of hunting, he shall be terrified by spies under the 
disguise of highway robbers; and when desirous of attacking his 
own father, he shall, under the pretence of compliance, be 
gradually persuaded of the evil consequences of such attempts, by 
telling: a king is not made by a mere wish; failure of thy attempt 
will bring about thy own death; success makes thee fall into hell 
and causes the people to lament (for thy father) and destroy the 
only clod (ekaloshtavadhascha, i.e., thyself)." 

When a king has an only son who is either devoid of worldly 
pleasures or is a favourite child, the king may keep him under 
chains. If a king has many sons, he may send some of them to 
where there is no heir apparent, nor a child either just born or in the 
embryo. 



46 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When a prince is possessed of good and amicable qualities, he 
may be made the commander-in-chief or installed as heir apparent. 

Sons are of three kinds: those of sharp intelligence; those of 
stagnant intelligence; and those of perverted mind. 

Whoever carries into practice whatever he is taught 
concerning righteousness and wealth is one of sharp intelligence; 
whoever never carries into practice the good instructions he has 
imbibed is one of stagnant intelligence; and whoever entangles 
himself in dangers and hates righteousness and wealth is one of 
perverted mind. 

If a king has an only son (of the last type), attempts shall be 
made to procreating a son to him; or sons may be begotten on his 
daughters. 

When a king is too old or diseased (to beget sons), he may 
appoint a maternal relation or a blood relation (kulya) of his or any 
one of his neighbouring kings possessed of good and amicable 
qualities to sow the seed in his own field (kshetrebijam, i.e., to 
beget a son on his wife.) 

But never shall a wicked and an only son be installed on the 
royal throne. 

A royal father who is the only prop for many (people) shall be 
favourably disposed towards his son. Except in dangers, 
sovereignty falling to the lot of the eldest (son) is always respected. 
Sovereignty may (sometimes) be the property of a clan; for the 
corporation of clans is invincible in its nature and being free from 
the calamities of anarchy, can have a permanent existence on earth. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVII, "Protection of Princes" in Book I, 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 

47 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER XVIII. THE CONDUCT OF A PRINCE KEPT 
UNDER RESTRAINT AND THE TREATMENT OF A 
RESTRAINED PRINCE. 

A PRINCE, though put to troubles and employed in an 
unequal task, shall yet faithfully follow his father unless that task 
costs his life, enrages the people, or causes any other serious 
calamities. If he is employed in a good or meritorious work, he 
shall try to win the good graces of the superintendent of that work, 
carry the work to a profitable end beyond expectation, and present 
his father with the proportional profit derived from that work as 
well as with the excessive profit due to his skill. If the king is not 
still pleased with him and shows undue partiality to another prince 
and other wives, he may request the king to permit him for a 
forest-life. 

Or if he apprehends imprisonment or death, he may seek 
refuge under a neighbouring king who is known to be righteous, 
charitable, truthful, and not given to cunning, but also welcomes 
and respects guests of good character. Residing therein he may 
provide himself with men and money, contract 
marriage-connection with influential personages, and not only 
make alliance with wild tribes, but win over the parties (in his 
father's state). 

Or moving alone, he may earn his livelihood by working in 
gold mines or ruby mines or by manufacturing gold and silver 
ornaments or any other commercial commodities. Having acquired 
close intimacy with heretics (pdshanda), rich widows, or 
merchants carrying on ocean traffic he may, by making use of 
poison (madanarasa), rob them of their wealth as well as the 
wealth of gods unless the latter is enjoyable by Brdhmans learned 
in the Vedas. Or he may adopt such measures as are employed to 

48 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



capture the villages of a foreign king. Or he may proceed (against 
his father) with the help of the servants of his mother. 

Or having disguised himself as a painter, a carpenter, 
court-bard, a physician, a buffoon, or a heretic, and assisted by 
spies under similar disguise, he may, when opportunity affords 
itself, present himself armed with weapons and poison before the 
king, and address him :— 

"I am the heir-apparent; it does not become thee to enjoy the 
state alone when it is enjoyable by both of us, or when others justly 
desire such enjoyment; I ought not to be kept away by awarding an 
allowance of double the subsistence and salary." 

These are the measures that a prince kept under restraint has 
to take. 

Spies or his mother, natural or adoptive, may reconcile an 
heir-apparent under restraint and bring him to the court. 

Or secret emissaries armed with weapons and poison may kill 
an abandoned prince. If he is not abandoned, he may be caught 
hold of at night by employing women equal to the occasion, or by 
making use of liquor, or on the occasion of hunting, and brought 
back (to the court). 

When thus brought back, he shall be conciliated by the king 
with promise of sovereignty 'after me' (i.e., after the king's death), 
and kept under guard, in a definite locality. Or if the king has many 
sons, an unruly prince may be banished. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVIII, "The Conduct of a Prince kept under 
Restraint and the Treatment of a Restrained Prince," in Book I, 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



49 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER XIX. THE DUTIES OF A KING. 

IF a king is energetic, his subjects will be equally energetic. If 
he is reckless, they will not only be reckless likewise, but also eat 
into his works. Besides, a reckless king will easily fall into the 
hands of his enemies. Hence the king shall ever be wakeful. 

He shall divide both the day and the night into eight ndlikas 
(IV2 hours), or according to the length of the shadow (cast by a 
gnomon standing in the sun): the shadow of three purushds (36 
angulds or inches), of one purushd (12 inches), of four angulds (4 
inches), and absence of shadow denoting midday are the four 
one-eighth divisions of the forenoon; like divisions (in the reverse 
order) in the afternoon. 

Of these divisions, during the first one-eighth part of the day, 
he shall post watchmen and attend to the accounts of receipts and 
expenditure; during the second part, he shall look to the affairs of 
both citizens and country people; during the third, he shall not only 
bathe and dine, but also study; during the fourth, he shall not only 
receive revenue in gold (hiranya), but also attend to the 
appointments of superintendents; during the fifth, he shall 
correspond in writs (patrasampreshanena) with the assembly of 
his ministers, and receive the secret information gathered by his 
spies; during the sixth, he may engage himself in his favourite 
amusements or in self-deliberation; during the seventh, he shall 
superintend elephants, horses, chariots, and infantry, and during 
the eighth part, he shall consider various plans of military 
operations with his commander-in-chief. 

At the close of the day, he shall observe the evening prayer 
(sandhya). 



50 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



During the first one-eighth part of the night, he shall receive 
secret emissaries; during the second, he shall attend to bathing and 
supper and study; during the third, he shall enter the bed-chamber 
amid the sound of trumpets and enjoy sleep during the fourth and 
fifth parts; having been awakened by the sound of trumpets during 
the sixth part, he shall recall to his mind the injunctions of sciences 
as well as the day's duties; during the seventh, he shall sit 
considering administrative measures and send out spies; and 
during the eighth division of the night, he shall receive 
benedictions from sacrificial priests, teachers, and the high priest, 
and having seen his physician, chief cook and astrologer, and 
having saluted both a cow with its calf and a bull by 
circumambulating round them, he shall get into his court. 

Or in conformity to his capacity, he may alter the timetable 
and attend to his duties. 

When in the court, he shall never cause his petitioners to wait 
at the door, for when a king makes himself inaccessible to his 
people and entrusts his work to his immediate officers, he may be 
sure to engender confusion in business, and to cause thereby public 
disaffection, and himself a prey to his enemies. 

He shall, therefore, personally attend to the business of gods, 
of heretics, of Brdhmans learned in the Vedas, of cattle, of sacred 
places, of minors, the aged, the afflicted, and the helpless, and of 
women;— all this in order (of enumeration) or according to the 
urgency or pressure of those works. 

All urgent calls he shall hear at once, but never put off; for 
when postponed, they will prove too hard or impossible to 
accomplish. 

Having seated himself in the room where the sacred fire has 

51 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 

been kept, he shall attend to the business of physicians and ascetics 
practising austerities; and that in company with his high priest and 
teacher and after preliminary salutation (to the petitioners). 

Accompanied by persons proficient in the three sciences 
(trividya) but not alone lest the petitioners be offended, he shall 
look to the business of those who are practising austerities, as well 
as of those who are experts in witchcraft and Yoga. 

Of a king, the religious vow is his readiness to action; 
satisfactory discharge of duties is his performance of sacrifice; 
equal attention to all is the offer of fees and ablution towards 
consecration. 

In the happiness of his subjects lies his happiness; in their 
welfare his welfare; whatever pleases himself he shall not consider 
as good, but whatever pleases his subjects he shall consider as 
good. 

Hence the king shall ever be active and discharge his duties; 
the root of wealth is activity, and of evil its reverse. 

In the absence of activity acquisitions present and to come 
will perish; by activity he can achieve both his desired ends and 
abundance of wealth. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIX, "The Duties of a King" in Book I. 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



CHAPTER XX. DUTY TOWARDS THE HAREM. 

ON a site naturally best fitted for the purpose, the king shall 

52 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



construct his harem consisting of many compartments, one within 
the other, enclosed by a parapet and a ditch, and provided with a 
door. 

He shall construct his own residential palace after the model 
of his treasury-house; or he may have his residential abode in the 
centre of the delusive chamber (mohanagriha), provided with 
secret passages made into the walls; or in an underground chamber 
provided with the figures of goddesses and of altars (chaitya) 
carved on the wooden door-frame, and connected with many 
underground passages for exit; or in an upper storey provided with 
a staircase hidden in a wall, with a passage for exit made in a 
hollow pillar, the whole building being so constructed with 
mechanical contrivance as to be caused to fall down when 
necessary. 

Or considering the danger from his own classmates 
(sahddhydyi), such contrivances as the above, mainly intended as 
safeguards against danger, may be made on occasions of danger or 
otherwise as he deems fit. 

No other kind of fire can burn that harem which is thrice 
circumambulated from right to left by a fire of human make 
(manushendgnina); nor can there be kindled any other fire. Nor can 
fire destroy that harem the walls of which are made of mud mixed 
with ashes produced by lightning, and wetted in hail-water 
(karaka-vdri) . 

Poisonous snakes will not dare to enter into such buildings as 
are provided with Jivanti (Fcederia Fcetida), sveta (Aconitum 
Ferox), mushkakapushpa (?), and vanddka (Epidendrum 
Tesselatum), and as are protected by the branches of pejdta (?) and 
of asvattha (Ficus Religiosa). 



53 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Cats, peacocks, mangooses, and the spotted deer eat up 
snakes. 

Parrots, minas (sdrika), and Malbar birds (bhringardja) 
shriek when they perceive the smell of snake-poison. 

The heron (crauncha) swoons in the vicinity of poison; the 
pheasant (jivanjivaka) feels distress; the youthful cuckoo 
(mattakokila) dies; the eyes of partridge (chakora) are reddened. 

Thus remedies shall be applied against fire and poison. 

On one side in the rear of the harem, there shall be made for 
the residence of women compartments provided not only with all 
kinds of medicines useful in midwifery and diseases, but also with 
well known pot-herbs (prakhydtasamsthdvriksha), and a 
water-reservoir; outside these compartments, the residences of 
princes and princesses; in front (of the latter building), the 
toilet-ground (alankdra bhumih), the council-ground 
(mantrabhumib), the court, and the offices of the heir-apparent and 
of superintendents. 

In the intervening places between two compartments, the 
army of the officer in charge of the harem shall be stationed. 

When in the interior of the harem, the king shall see the queen 
only when her personal purity is vouchsafed by an old 
maid-servant. He shall not touch any woman (unless he is apprised 
of her personal purity); for hidden in the queen's chamber, his own 
brother slew king Bhadrasena; hiding himself under the bed of his 
mother, the son killed king Kdrusa; mixing fried rice with poison, 
as though with honey, his own queen poisoned Kdsirdja; with an 
anklet painted with poison, his own queen killed Vairantya; with a 
gem of her zone bedaubed with poison, his own queen killed 

54 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Sauvira; with a looking glass painted with poison, his own queen 
killed Jdlutha; and with a weapon hidden under her tuft of hair, his 
own queen slew Viduratha. 

Hence the king shall always be careful to avoid such lurking 
dangers. He shall keep away his wives from the society of ascetics 
with shaved head or braided hair, of buffoons, and of outside 
prostitutes (ddsi). Nor shall women of high birth have occasion to 
see his wives except appointed midwives. 

Prostitutes (rupdjiva) with personal cleanliness effected by 
fresh bath and with fresh garments and ornaments shall attend the 
harem. 

Eighty men and fifty women under the guise of fathers and 
mothers, and aged persons, and eunuchs shall not only ascertain 
purity and impurity in the life of the inmates of the harem, but also 
so regulate the affairs as to be conducive to the happiness of the 
king. 

Every person in the harem shall live in the place assigned to 
him, and shall never move to the place assigned to others. No one 
of the harem shall at any time keep company with any outsider. 

The passage of all kinds of commodities from or into the 
harem shall be restricted and shall, after careful examination, be 
allowed to reach their destination either inside or outside the harem 
as indicated by the seal-mark (mudrd). 

[Thus ends Chapter XX, "Duty towards the Harem" in Book I, 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



55 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER XXI. PERSONAL SAFETY. 

ON getting up from the bed, the king shall be received by 
troops of women armed with bows. In the second compartment, he 
shall be received by the Kanchuki (presenter of the king's coat), the 
Ushnisi (presenter of king's head-dress), aged persons, and other 
harem attendants. 

In the third compartment, he shall be received by crooked and 
dwarfish persons; in the fourth, by prime ministers, kinsmen, and 
door-keepers with barbed missiles in their hand. 

The king shall employ as his personal attendants those whose 
fathers and grandfathers had been royal servants, those who bear 
close relationship to the king, those who are well trained and loyal, 
and those who have rendered good service. 

Neither foreigners, nor those who have earned neither 
rewards nor honour by rendering good service, nor even natives 
found engaged in inimical works shall form the bodyguard of the 
king or the troops of the officers in charge of the harem. 

In a well-guarded locality, the head-cook (mdhdnasika) shall 
supervise the preparation of varieties of relishing dishes. The king 
shall partake of such fresh dishes after making an oblation out of 
them first to the fire and then to birds. 

When the flame and the smoke turn blue and crackle, and 
when birds (that eat the oblation) die, presence of poison (in the 
dish) shall be inferred. When the vapour arising from cooked rice 
possesses the colour of the neck of a peacock, and appears chill as 
if suddenly cooled, when vegetables possess an unnatural colour, 
and are watery and hardened, and appear to have suddenly turned 
dry, being possessed of broken layers of blackish foam, and being 

56 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



devoid of smell, touch and taste natural to them; when utensils 
reflect light either more or less than usual, and are covered with a 
layer of foam at their edges; when any liquid preparation possesses 
streaks on its surface; when milk bears a bluish streak in the centre 
of its surface; when liquor and water possess reddish streaks; when 
curd is marked with black and dark streaks, and honey with white 
streaks; when watery things appear parched as if overcooked and 
look blue and swollen; when dry things have shrinked and changed 
in their colour; when hard things appear soft, and soft things hard; 
when minute animalculae die in the vicinity of the dishes; when 
carpets and curtains possess blackish circular spots, with their 
threads and hair fallen off; when metallic vessels set with gems 
appear tarnished as though by roasting, and have lost their polish, 
colour, shine, and softness of touch, presence of poison shall be 
inferred. 

As to the person who has administered poison, the marks are 
parched and dry mouth; hesitation in speaking; heavy perspiration; 
yawning; too much bodily tremour; frequent tumbling; evasion of 
speech; carelessness in work; and unwillingness to keep to the 
place assigned to him. 

Hence physicians and experts capable of detecting poison 
shall ever attend upon the king. 

Having taken out from the store-room of medicines that 
medicine the purity of which has been proved by experiment, and 
having himself together with the decoctioner and the purveyor 
(pdchaka and poshaka) tasted it, the physician shall hand over the 
medicine to the king. The same rule shall apply to liquor and other 
beverages. 

Having cleaned their person and hands by fresh bath and put 
on newly- washed garment, servants in charge of dresses, and 

57 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



toilets shall serve the king with dresses and toilets received under 
seal from the officer in charge of the harem. 

Prostitutes shall do the duty of bath-room servants, 
shampooers, bedding-room servants, washermen, and flower 
garland-makers, while presenting to the king water, scents, fragrant 
powders, dress and garlands, servants along with the above 
prostitutes shall first touch these things by their eyes, arms and 
breast. 

The same rule shall apply to whatever has been received from 
an outside person. 

Musicians shall entertain the king with those kinds of 
amusements in which weapons, fire, and poison are not made use 
of. Musical instruments as well as the ornaments of horses, 
chariots, and elephants shall invariably be kept inside (the harem). 

The king shall mount over chariots or beasts of burden only 
when they are first mounted over by his hereditary driver or rider. 

He shall get into a boat only when it is piloted by a 
trustworthy sailor and is conjoined to a second boat. He shall never 
sail on any ship which had once been weatherbeaten; and (while 
boating on a good ship) his army shall all the while stand on the 
bank or the shore. 

He shall get into such water as is free from large fishes 
(matsya) and crocodiles. He shall ramble only in such forests as are 
freed from snakes and crocodiles (grdha). 

With a view of acquiring efficiency in the skill of shooting 
arrows at moving objects, he shall engage himself in sports in such 
forests as are cleared by hunters and hound-keepers from the fear 
of high- way-robbers, snakes, and enemies. 

58 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Attended by trustworthy bodyguard armed with weapons, he 
shall give interview to saints and ascetics. Surrounded by his 
assembly of minsters, he shall receive the envoys of foreign states. 

Attired in military dress and having mounted a horse, a 
chariot, or an elephant, he shall go see his army equipped in 
military array. 

On the occaision of going out of, and coming into (the 
capital), the king's road shall on both sides be well guarded by 
staff-bearers and freed from the presence of armed persons, 
ascetics, and the cripple (vyanga). 

He shall go to witness festive trains, fairs (ydtra), procession, 
or sacrificial performances only when they are policed by bands of 
'The Ten Communities.' (dasavargikadhishthitdni). 

Just as he attends to the personal safety of others through the 
agency of spies, so a wise king shall also take care to secure his 
person from external dangers. 

[Thus ends Chapter XX, "Personal Safety" in Book I, "Concerning 
Discipline" of the Arthasastra of Kautilya. With this, the Book I, 
"Concerning Discipline" of the Arthasastra of Kautilya, has 
ended.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 1-50. 



59 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book II, "The Duties of 
Government Superintendents" 

CHAPTER I. FORMATION OF VILLAGES. 

EITHER by inducing foreigners to immigrate 
(paradesapravdhanena) or by causing the thickly-populated 
centres of his own kingdom to send forth the excessive population 
(svadesdbhishyandavdmanena vd), the king may construct villages 
either on new sites or on old ruins (bhiltapurvama vd). 

Villages consisting each of not less than a hundred families 
and of not more than five-hundred families of agricultural people 
of sudra caste, with boundaries extending as far as a krosa (2250 
yds.) or two, and capable of protecting each other shall be formed. 
Boundaries shall be denoted by a river, a mountain, forests, 
bulbous plants (grishti), caves, artificial buildings (setubandha), or 
by trees such as sdlmali (silk cotton tree), sami (Acacia Suma), and 
kshiravriksha (milky trees). 

There shall be set up a sthdniya (a fortress of that name) in the 
centre of eight-hundred villages, a dronamukha in the centre of 
four-hundred villages, a kharvatika in the centre of two-hundred 
villages and sangrahana in the midst of a collection of ten villages. 

There shall be constructed in the extremities of the kingdom 
forts manned by boundary-guards (antapdla) whose duty shall be 
to guard the entrances into the kingdom. The interior of the 
kingdom shall be watched by trap-keepers (vdgurika), archers 
(sdbara), hunters (pulinda), chandalas, and wild tribes 
(aranyachdra). 

60 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Those who perform sacrifices (ritvik), spiritual guides, 
priests, and those learned in the Vedas shall be granted 
Brahmadaya lands yielding sufficient produce and exempted from 
taxes and fines (adandkardni). 

Superintendents, Accountants, Gopas, Sthanikas, Veterinary 
Surgeons (Anikastha), physicians, horse-trainers, and messengers 
shall also be endowed with lands which they shall have no right to 
alienate by sale or mortgage. 

Lands prepared for cultivation shall be given to tax -payers 
(karada) only for life (ekapurushikdni). 

Unprepared lands shall not be taken away from those who are 
preparing them for cultivation. 

Lands may be confiscated from those who do not cultivate 
them; and given to others; or they may be cultivated by village 
labourers (grdmabhritaka) and traders (vaidehaka), lest those 
owners who do not properly cultivate them might pay less (to the 
government). If cultivators pay their taxes easily, they may be 
favourably supplied with grains, cattle, and money. 

The king shall bestow on cultivators only such favour and 
remission (anugrahaparihdrau) as will tend to swell the treasury, 
and shall avoid such as will deplete it. 

A king with depleted treasury will eat into the very vitality of 
both citizens and country people. Either on the occasion of opening 
new settlements or on any other emergent occasions, remission of 
taxes shall be made. 

He shall regard with fatherly kindness those who have passed 
the period of remission of taxes. 



61 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



He shall carry on mining operations and manufactures, 
exploit timber and elephant forests, offer facilities for 
cattlebreeding and commerce, construct roads for traffic both by 
land and water, and set up market towns (panyapattana). 

He shall also construct reservoirs {situ) filled with water 
either perennial or drawn from some other source. Or he may 
provide with sites, roads, timber, and other necessary things those 
who construct reservoirs of their own accord. Likewise in the 
construction of places of pilgrimage (punyasthdna) and of groves. 

Whoever stays away from any kind of cooperative 
construction (sambhuya setubhandhdt) shall send his servants and 
bullocks to carry on his work, shall have a share in the expenditure, 
but shall have no claim to the profit. 

The king shall exercise his right of ownership (swdmyam) 
with regard to fishing, ferrying and trading in vegetables 
(haritapanya) in reservoirs or lakes (setushu). 

Those who do not heed the claims of their slaves (ddsa), 
hirelings (dhitaka), and relatives shall be taught their duty. 

The king shall provide the orphans, (bdla), the aged, the 
infirm, the afflicted, and the helpless with maintenance. He shall 
also provide subsistence to helpless women when they are carrying 
and also to the children they give birth to. 

Elders among the villagers shall improve the property of 
bereaved minors till the latter attain their age; so also the property 
of Gods. 

When a capable person other than an apostate (patita) or 
mother neglects to maintain his or her child, wife, mother, father, 

62 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



minor brothers, sisters, or widowed girls (kanyd vidhavdscha), he 
or she shall be punished with a fine of twelve panas. 

When, without making provision for the maintenance of his 
wife and sons, any person embraces ascetism, he shall be punished 
with the first amercement; likewise any person who converts a 
woman to ascetism (pravrdjayatah). 

Whoever has passed the age of copulation may become an 
ascetic after distributing the properties of his own acquisition 
(among his sons); otherwise, he will be punished. 

No ascetic other than a vdnaprastha (forest-hermit), no 
company other than the one of local birth (sajdtddanyassanghah), 
and no guilds of any kind other than local cooperative guilds 
(sdmutthdyikd-danyassamaydnubandhah) shall find entrance into 
the villages of the kingdom. Nor shall there be in villages buildings 
(sdldh) intended for sports and plays. Nor, in view of procuring 
money, free labour, commodities, grains, and liquids in plenty, 
shall actors, dancers, singers, drummers, buffoons (vdgjivana), and 
bards (kusilava) make any disturbance to the work of the villagers; 
for helpless villagers are always dependent and bent upon their 
fields. 

The king shall avoid taking possession of any country which 
is liable to the inroads of enemies and wild tribes and which is 
harassed by frequent visitations of famine and pestilence. He shall 
also keep away from expensive sports. 

He shall protect agriculture from the molestation of 
oppressive fines, free labour, and taxes (dandavishtikardbddhaih); 
herds of cattle from thieves, tigers, poisonous creatures and 
cattle-disease. 

He shall not only clear roads of traffic from the molestations 

63 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



of courtiers (vallabha), of workmen (kdrmika), of robbers, and of 
boundary-guards, but also keep them from being destroyed by 
herds of cattle. 

Thus the king shall not only keep in good repair timber and 
elephant forests, buildings, and mines created in the past, but also 
set up new ones. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Formation of Villages" in Book II, "The 
Duties of Government Superintendents," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of twenty- second chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER II. DIVISION OF LAND. 

THE King shall make provision for pasture grounds on 
uncultivable tracts. 

Brahmans shall be provided with forests for soma plantation, 
for religious learning, and for the performance of penance, such 
forests being rendered safe from the dangers from animate or 
inanimate objects, and being named after the tribal name (gotra) of 
the Brahmans resident therein. 

A forest as extensive as the above, provided with only one 
entrance rendered inaccessible by the construction of ditches all 
round, with plantations of delicious fruit trees, bushes, bowers, and 
thornless trees, with an expansive lake of water full of harmless 
animals, and with tigers (vydla), beasts of prey (mdrgdyuka), male 
and female elephants, young elephants, and bisons — all deprived 
of their claws and teeth — shall be formed for the king's sports. 

On the extreme limit of the country or in any other suitable 

64 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



locality, another game-forest with game -beasts; open to all, shall 
also be made. In view of procuring all kinds of forest-produce 
described elsewhere, one or several forests shall be specially 
reserved. 

Manufactories to prepare commodities from forest produce 
shall also be set up. 

Wild tracts shall be separated from timber-forests. In the 
extreme limit of the country, elephant forests, separated from wild 
tracts, shall be formed. 

The superintendent of forests with his retinue of forest guards 
shall not only maintain the up-keep of the forests, but also acquaint 
himself with all passages for entrance into, or exit from such of 
them as are mountainous or boggy or contain rivers or lakes. 

Whoever kills an elephant shall be put to death. 

Whoever brings in the pair of tusks of an elephant, dead from 
natural causes, shall receive a reward of four-and-a-half panas. 

Guards of elephant forests, assisted by those who rear 
elephants, those who enchain the legs of elephants, those who 
guard the boundaries, those who live in forests, as well as by those 
who nurse elephants, shall, with the help of five or seven female 
elephants to help in tethering wild ones, trace the whereabouts of 
herds of elephants by following the course of urine and dungs left 
by elephants and along forest-tracts covered over with branches of 
Bhallataki (Semicarpus Anacardium), and by observing the spots 
where elephants slept or sat before or left dungs, or where they had 
just destroyed the banks of rivers or lakes. They shall also precisely 
ascertain whether any mark is due to the movements of elephants 
in herds, of an elephant roaming single, of a stray elephant, of a 

65 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



leader of herds, of a tusker, of a rogue elephant, of an elephant in 
rut, of a young elephant, or of an elephant that has escaped from the 
cage. 

Experts in catching elephants shall follow the instructions 
given to them by the elephant doctor (anikastha) and catch such 
elephants as are possessed of auspicious characteristics and good 
character. 

The victory of kings (in battles) depends mainly upon 
elephants; for elephants, being of large bodily frame, are capable 
not only to destroy the arrayed army of an enemy, his fortifications, 
and encampments, but also to undertake works that are dangerous 
to life. 

Elephants bred in countries, such as Kalinga, Anga, Karusa, 
and the East are the best; those of the Dasarna and western 
countries are of middle quality; and those of Saurashtra and 
Panchajana countries are of low quality. The might and energy of 
all can, however, be improved by suitable training. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Division of Land" in Book II, "The Duties 
of Government Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. 
End of twenty-third chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. CONSTRUCTION OF FORTS 

ON all the four quarters of the boundaries of the kingdom, 
defensive fortifications against an enemy in war shall be 
constructed on grounds best fitted for the purpose: a 
water-fortification (audaka) such as an island in the midst of a 
river, or a plain surrounded by low ground; a mountainous 

66 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



fortification (pdrvata) such as a rocky tract or a cave; a desert 
(dhdnvana) such as a wild tract devoid of water and overgrown 
with thicket growing in barren soil; or a forest fortification 
(vanadurga) full of wagtail (khajana), water and thickets. 

Of these, water and mountain fortifications are best suited to 
defend populous centres; and desert and forest fortifications are 
habitations in wilderness (atavisthdnam). 

Or with ready preparations for flight the king may have his 
fortified capital (sthdniya) as the seat of his sovereignty 
(samudaydsthdnam) in the centre of his kingdom: in a locality 
naturally best fitted for the purpose, such as the bank of the 
confluence of rivers, a deep pool of perennial water, or of a lake or 
tank, a fort, circular, rectangular, or square in form, surrounded 
with an artificial canal of water, and connected with both land and 
water paths (may be constructed). 

Round this fort, three ditches with an intermediate space of 
one danda (6 ft.) from each other, fourteen, twelve and ten dandas 
respectively in width, with depth less by one quarter or by one-half 
of their width, square at their bottom and one-third as wide as at 
their top, with sides built of stones or bricks, filled with perennial 
flowing water or with water drawn from some other source, and 
possessing crocodiles and lotus plants shall be constructed. 

At a distance of four dandas (24 ft.) from the (innermost) 
ditch, a rampart six dandas high and twice as much broad shall be 
erected by heaping mud upwards and by making it square at the 
bottom, oval at the centre pressed by the trampling of elephants and 
bulls, and planted with thorny and poisonous plants in bushes. 
Gaps in the rampart shall be filled up with fresh earth. 

Above the rampart, parapets in odd or even numbers and with 
an intermediate, space of from 12 to 24 hastas from each other shall 

67 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



be built of bricks and raised to a height of twice their breadth. 

The passage for chariots shall be made of trunks of palm trees 
or of broad and thick slabs of stones with spheres like the head of a 
monkey carved on their surface; but never of wood as fire finds a 
happy abode in it. 

Towers, square throughout and with moveable staircase or 
ladder equal to its height, shall also be constructed. 

In the intermediate space measuring thirty dandas between 
two towers, there shall be formed a broad street in two 
compartments covered over with a roof and two-and-half times as 
long as it is broad. 

Between the tower and the broad street there shall be 
constructed an Indrakosa which is made up of covering pieces of 
wooden planks affording seats for three archers. 

There shall also be made a road for Gods which shall 
measure two hastas inside (the towers ?), four times as much by the 
sides, and eight hastas along the parapet. 

Paths (chdrya, to ascend the parapet ?) as broad as a danda (6 
ft.) or two shall also be made. 

In an unassailable part (of the rampart), a passage for flight 
(pradhdvitikdm), and a door for exit (nishkuradwdram) shall be 
made. 

Outside the rampart, passages for movements shall be closed 
by forming obstructions such as a knee -breaker (jdnubhanjani), a 
trident, mounds of earth, pits, wreaths of thorns, instruments made 
like the tail of a snake, palm leaf, triangle, and of dog's teeth, rods, 

68 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



ditches filled with thorns and covered with sand, frying pans and 
water-pools. 

Having made on both sides of the rampart a circular hole of a 
danda-and-a-half in diametre, an entrance gate (to the fort) 
one-sixth as broad as the width of the street shall be fixed. 

A square (chaturdsra) is formed by successive addition of 
one danda up to eight dandas commencing from five, or in the 
proportion, one-sixth of the length up to one-eighth. 

The rise in level (talotsedhah) shall be made by successive 
addition of one hasta up to 18 hastas commencing from 15 hastas. 

In fixing a pillar, six parts are to form its height, on the floor, 
twice as much (12 parts) to be entered into the ground, and 
one-fourth for its capital. 

Of the first floor, five parts (are to be taken) for the formation 
of a hall {said), a well, and a boundary-house; two-tenths of it for 
the formation of two platforms opposite to each other 
(pratimanchau); an upper storey twice as high as its width; 
carvings of images; an upper-most storey, half or three-fourths as 
broad as the first floor; side walls built of bricks; on the left side, a 
staircase circumambulating from left to right; on the right, a secret 
staircase hidden in the wall; a top-support of ornamental arches 
(toranasirah) projecting as far as two hastas; two door-panels, 
(each) occupying three-fourths of the space; two and two 
cross-bars (parigha, to fasten the door); an iron-bolt (indrakild) as 
long as an aratni (24 angulas); a boundary gate (dnidvdram) five 
hastas in width; four beams to shut the door against elephants; and 
turrets (hastinakha) (outside the rampart) raised up to the height of 
the face of a man, removable or irremovable, or made of earth in 
places devoid of water. 



69 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



A turret above the gate and starting from the top of the parapet 
shall be constructed, its front resembling an alligator up to 
three-fourths of its height. 

In the centre of the parapets, there shall be constructed a deep 
lotus pool; a rectangular building of four compartments, one within 
the other; an abode of the Goddess Kumiri (Kumdripuram), having 
its external area one-and-a-half times as broad as that of its 
innermost room; a circular building with an arch way; and in 
accordance with available space and materials, there shall also be 
constructed canals (kulyd) to hold weapons and three times as long 
as broad. 

In those canals, there shall be collected stones, spades 
(kudddla), axes (kuthdri), varieties of staffs, cudgel (musrinthi), 
hammers (mudgara), clubs, discus, machines (yantra), and such 
weapons as can destroy a hundred persons at once (sataghni), 
together with spears, tridents, bamboo-sticks with pointed edges 
made of iron, camel-necks, explosives (agnisamyogas), and 
whatever else can be devised and formed from available materials. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "Construction of Forts," in Book II, "The 
Duties of Government Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of twenty-fourth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. BUILDINGS WITHIN THE FORT. 

DEMARCATION of the ground inside the fort shall be made 
first by opening three royal roads from west to east and three from 
south to north. 



70 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The fort shall contain twelve gates, provided with both a land 
and water-way kept secret. 

Chariot-roads, royal roads, and roads leading to dronamukha, 
sthaniya, country parts, and pasture grounds shall each be four 
dandas (24 ft.) in width. 

Roads leading to sayoniya (?), military stations (vyuha), 
burial or cremation grounds, and to villages shall be eight dandas in 
width. 

Roads to gardens, groves, and forests shall be four dandas. 

Roads leading to elephant forests shall be two dandas. 

Roads for chariots shall be five aratnis (JVi ft.). Roads for 
cattle shall measure four aratnis; and roads for minor quadrupeds 
and men two aratnis. 

Royal buildings shall be constructed on strong grounds. 

In the midst of the houses of the people of all the four castes 
and to the north from the centre of the ground inside the fort, the 
king's palace, facing either the north or the east shall, as described 
elsewhere (Chapter XX, Book I), be constructed occupying 
one-ninth of the whole site inside the fort. 

Royal teachers, priests, sacrificial place, water-reservoir and 
ministers shall occupy sites east by north to the palace. 

Royal kitchen, elephant stables, and the store-house shall be 
situated on sites east by south. 

On the eastern side, merchants trading in scents, garlands, 
grains, and liquids, together with expert artisans and the people of 

71 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Kshatriya caste shall have their habitations. 

The treasury, the accountant's office, and various 
manufactories (karmanishadydscha) shall be situated on sites 
south by east. 

The store-house of forest produce and the arsenal shall be 
constructed on sites south by west. 

To the south, the superintendents of the city, of commerce, of 
manufactories, and of the army as well as those who trade in 
cooked rice, liquor, and flesh, besides prostitutes, musicians, and 
the people of Vaisya caste shall live. 

To the west by south, stables of asses, camels, and working 
house. 

To the west by north, stables of conveyances and chariots. 

To the west, artisans manufacturing worsted threads, cotton 
threads, bamboo-mats, skins, armours, weapons, and gloves as 
well as the people of Sudra caste shall have their dwellings. 

To the north by west, shops and hospitals. 
To the north by east, the treasury and the stables of cows and 
horses. 

To the north, the royal tutelary deity of the city, ironsmiths, 
artisans working on precious stones, as well as Brahmans shall 
reside. 

In the several corners, guilds and corporations of workmen 
shall reside. 



72 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



In the centre of the city, the apartments of Gods such as 
Aparajita, Apratihata, Jayanta, Vaijayanta, Siva, Vaisravana, 
Asvina (divine physicians), and the honourable liquor-house 
(Sri-madiragriham), shall be situated. 

In the corners, the guardian deities of the ground shall be 
appropriately set up. 

Likewise the principal gates such as Brahma, Aindra, Yamya, 
and Sainapatya shall be constructed; and at a distance of 100 bows 
(dhanus =108 angulas) from the ditch (on the counterscarp side), 
places of worship and pilgrimage, groves and buildings shall be 
constructed. 

Guardian deities of all quarters shall also be set up in 
quarters appropriate to them. 

Either to the north or the east, burial or cremation grounds 
shall be situated; but that of the people of the highest caste shall be 
to the south (of the city). 

Violation of this rule shall be punished with the first 
amercement. 

Heretics and Chandalas shall live beyond the burial grounds. 

Families of workmen may in any other way be provided with 
sites befitting with their occupation and field work. Besides 
working in flower-gardens, fruit-gardens, vegetable-gardens, and 
paddy-fields allotted to them, they (families) shall collect grains 
and merchandise in abundance as authorised. 

There shall be a water-well for every ten houses. 

73 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Oils, grains, sugar, salt, medicinal articles, dry or fresh 
vegetables, meadow grass, dried flesh, haystock, firewood, metals, 
skins, charcoal, tendons (sndyu), poison, horns, bamboo, fibrous 
garments, strong timber, weapons, armour, and stones shall also be 
stored (in the fort) in such quantities as can be enjoyed for years 
together without feeling any want. Of such collection, old things 
shall be replaced by new ones when received. 

Elephants, cavalry, chariots, and infantry shall each be 
officered with many chiefs inasmuch as chiefs, when many, are 
under the fear of betrayal from each other and scarcely liable to the 
insinuations and intrigues of an enemy. 

The same rule shall hold good with the appointment of 
boundary, guards, and repairers of fortifications. 

Never shall bdhirikas who are dangerous to the well being of 
cities and countries be kept in forts. They may either be thrown in 
country parts or compelled to pay taxes. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, " Buildings within the Fort" in Book II, 
"The Duties of the Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of twenty-fifth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. THE DUTIES OF THE CHAMBERLAIN. 

THE Chamberlain (sannidhdtd = one who ever attends upon 
the king) shall see to the construction of the treasury-house, 
trading-house, the store-house of grains, the storehouse of forest 
produce, the armoury and the jail. 



74 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Having dug up a square well not too deep to be moist with 
water, having paved both the bottom and the sides with slabs of 
stone, he shall, by using strong timber, construct in that well a 
cage-like under-ground chamber of three stories high, the top-most 
being on a level with the surface of the ground, with many 
compartments of various design, with floor plastered with small 
stones, with one door, with a movable staircase, and solemnised 
with the presence of the guardian deity. 

Above this chamber, the treasury house closed on both sides, 
with projecting roofs and extensively opening into the store-house 
shall be built of bricks. 

He may employ outcast men (abhityakta-purusha) to build at 
the extreme boundary of the kingdom a palacious mansion to hold 
substantial treasure against dangers and calamities. 

The trading-house shall be a quadrangle enclosed by four 
buildings with one door, with pillars built of burnt bricks, with 
many compartments, and with a row of pillars on both sides kept 
apart. 

The store-house shall consist of many spacious rooms and 
enclose within itself the store-house of forest produce separated 
from it by means of wall and connected with both the underground 
chamber and the armoury. 

The court (dharmasthiya) and the office of the ministers 
(mahdmdtriya) shall be built in a separate locality. 

Provided with separate accommodation for men and women 
kept apart and with many compartments well guarded, a jail shall 
also be constructed. 



75 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



All these buildings shall be provided with halls (sdla) pits 
(khdta — privy [?]), water- well, bath-room, remedies against fire 
and poison, with cats, mangooses, and with necessary means to 
worship the guardian gods appropriate to each. 

In (front of) the store-house a bowl (kunda) with its mouth as 
wide as an aratni (24 angulag) shall be set up as rain-gauge 
(varshamdna). 

Assisted by experts having necessary qualifications and 
provided with tools and instruments, the chamberlain shall attend 
to the business of receiving gems either old or new, as well as raw 
materials of superior or inferior value. 

In cases of deception in gems, both the deceiver and the 
abettor shall be punished with the highest amercement; in the case 
of superior commodities, they shall be punished with the 
middle-most amercement; and in that of commodities of inferior 
value, they shall be compelled not only to restore the same, but also 
pay a fine equal to the value of the articles. 

He shall receive only such gold coins as have been declared to 
be pure by the examiner of coins. 

Counterfeit coins shall be cut into pieces. 

Whoever brings in counterfeit coins shall be punished with 
the first amercement. 

Grains pure and fresh shall be received in full measures; 
otherwise a fine of twice the value of the grains shall be imposed. 

The same rule shall hold good with the receipt of 
merchandise, raw materials, and weapons. 



76 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



In all departments, whoever, whether as an officer (yukta), a 
clerk (upayukta), or a servant (tatpurusha), misappropriates sums 
from one to four panas or any other valuable things shall be 
punished with the first, middlemost, and highest amercements and 
death respectively. 

If the officer who is in charge of the treasury causes loss in 
money, he shall be whipped (ghdtah), while his abettors shall 
receive half the punishment; if the loss is due to ignorance, he shall 
be censured. 

If, with the intention of giving a hint, robbers are frightened 
(by the guards), (the latter) shall be tortured to death. 

Hence assisted by trustworthy persons, the chamberlain shall 
attend to the business of revenue collection. 

He shall have so thorough a knowledge of both external and 
internal incomes running even for a hundred years that, when 
questioned, he can point out without hesitation the exact amount of 
net balance that remains after expenditure has been met with. 
[Thus ends Chapter V, "The Duty of the Chamberlain" in Book II, 
"The Duties of the Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of twenty- sixth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER VI. THE BUSINESS OF COLLECTION OF 
REVENUE BY THE COLLECTOR-GENERAL. 

THE Collector-General shall attend to (the collection of 
revenue from) forts (durga), country-parts (rdshtra), mines 

77 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(khani), buildings and gardens (setu), forests (vana), herds of cattle 
(vraja), and roads of traffic (vanikpatha). 

Tolls, fines, weights and measures, the town-clerk 
(ndgaraka), the superintendent of coinage (lakshanddhyakshah), 
the superintendent of seals and pass-ports, liquor, slaughter of 
animals, threads, oils,, ghee, sugar (kshdra), the state-goldsmith 
(sauvarnika), the warehouse of merchandise, the prostitute, 
gambling, building sites (vdstuka), the corporation of artisans and 
handicrafts -men (kdrusilpiganah), the superintendent of gods, and 
taxes collected at the gates and from the people (known as) 
Bdhirikas come under the head of forts. 

Produce from crown-lands (sita), portion of produce payable 
to the government (bhdga), religious taxes (bali), taxes paid in 
money (kara), merchants, the superintendent of rivers, ferries, 
boats, and ships, towns, pasture grounds, road-cess (vartani), ropes 
(rajju) and ropes to bind thieves (chorarajjii) come under the head 
of country parts. 

Gold, silver, diamonds, gems, pearls, corals, conch-shells, 
metals (loha), salt, and other minerals extracted from plains and 
mountain slopes come under the head of mines. 

Flower-gardens, fruit-gardens, vegetable-gardens, wet fields, 
and fields where crops are grown by sowing roots for seeds 
(mulavdpdh, i.e., sugar-cane crops, etc.) come under setu. 

Game-forests, timber-forests, and elephant-forests are 
forests. 

Cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, asses, camels, horses, and 
mules come under the head of herds. 



78 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Land and water ways are the roads of traffic. 
All these form the body of income (ayasariram). 

Capital (inula), share (bhdga), premia (vydji), parigha (?) 
fixed taxes (klripta), premia on coins (rupika), and fixed fines 
(atyaya) are the several forms of revenue (dyamukha, i.e., the 
mouth from which income is to issue). 

The chanting of auspicious hymns during the worship of gods 
and ancestors, and on the occasion of giving gifts, the harem, the 
kitchen, the establishment of messengers, the store-house, the 
armoury, the warehouse, the store-house of raw materials, 
manufactories (karmdnta), free labourers (vishti), maintenance of 
infantry, cavalry, chariots, and elephants, herds of cows, the 
museum of beasts, deer, birds, and snakes, and storage of firewood 
and fodder constitute the body of expenditure {yy ayasariram). 

The royal year, the month, the paksha, the day, the dawn 
(vyushta), the third and seventh pakshas of (the seasons such as) 
the rainy season, the winter season, and the summer short of their 
days, the rest complete, and a separate intercalary month are (the 
divisions of time). 

He shall also pay attention to the work in hand (karaniya), the 
work accomplished (siddham), part of a work in hand (sesha), 
receipts, expenditure, and net balance. 

The business of upkeeping the government (samsthdnam), 
the routine work (prachdrah), the collection of necessaries of life, 
the collection and audit of all kinds of revenue, — these constitute 
the work in hand. 

That which has been credited to the treasury; that which has 
been taken by the king; that which has been spent in connection 

79 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



with the capital city not entered (into the register) or continued 
from year before last, the royal command dictated or orally 
intimated to be entered (into the register), — all these constitute the 
work accomplished. 

Preparation of plans for profitable works, balance of fines 
due, demand for arrears of revenue kept in abeyance, and 
examination of accounts, — these constitute what is called part of a 
work in hand which may be of little or no value. 

Receipts may be (1) current, (2) last balance, and (3) 
accidental (anyajdtah= received from external source). 

What is received day after day is termed current (vartamdna). 

Whatever has been brought forward from year before last, 
whatever is in the hands of others, and whatever has changed hands 
is termed last balance (puryushita). 

Whatever has been lost and forgotten (by others), fines levied 
from government servants, marginal revenue (pdrsva), 
compensation levied for any damage (pdrihinikam), presentations 
to the king, the property of those who have fallen victims to 
epidemics (damaragatakasvam) leaving no sons, and 
treasure-troves,— all these constitute accidental receipts. 

Investment of capital (vikshepa), the relics of a wrecked 
undertaking, and the savings from an estimated outlay are the 
means to check expenditure (vyayapratyayah). 

The rise in price of merchandise due to the use of different 
weights and measures in selling is termed vydji; the enhancement 
of price due to bidding among buyers is also another source of 
profit. 



80 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Expenditure is of two kinds — daily expenditure and 
profitable expenditure. 

What is continued every day is daily. 

Whatever is earned once in a paksha, a month, or a year is 
termed profit. 

Whatever is spent on these two heads is termed as daily 
expenditure and profitable expenditure respectively. 

That which remains after deducting all the expenditure 
already incurred and excluding all revenue to be realised is net 
balance (nivi) which may have been either just realised or brought 
forward. 

Thus a wise collector-general shall conduct the work of 
revenue-collection, increasing the income and decreasing the 
expenditure. 

[Thus ends Chapter VI, "The Business of Collection of Revenue by 
the Collector-General" in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
twenty- seventh chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER VII. THE BUSINESS OF KEEPING UP 
ACCOUNTS IN THE OFFICE OF ACCOUNTANTS. 

THE superintendent of accounts shall have the accountant's 
office constructed with its door facing either the north or the east, 
with seats (for clerks) kept apart and with shelves of account-books 

81 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



well arranged. 

Therein the number of several departments; the description of 
the work carried on and of the results realised in several 
manufactories (Karmdnta); the amount of profit, loss, expenditure, 
delayed earnings, the amount of vydji (premia in kind or cash) 
realised, — the status of government agency employed, the amount 
of wages paid, the number of free labourers engaged (vishti) 
pertaining to the investment of capital on any work; likewise in the 
case of gems and commodities of superior or inferior value, the rate 
of their price, the rate of their barter, the counterweights 
ipratimdna) used in weighing them, their number, their weight, 
and their cubical measure; the history of customs, professions, and 
transactions of countries, villages, families, and corporations; the 
gains in the form of gifts to the king's courtiers, their title to possess 
and enjoy lands, remission of taxes allowed to them, and payment 
of provisions and salaries to them; the gains to the wives and sons 
of the king in gems, lands, prerogatives, and provisions made to 
remedy evil portents; the treaties with, issues of ultimatum to, and 
payments of tribute from or to, friendly or inimical kings, — all 
these shall be regularly entered in prescribed registers. 

From these books the superintendent shall furnish the 
accounts as to the forms of work in hand, of works accomplished, 
of part of works in hand, of receipts, of expenditure, of net balance, 
and of tasks to be undertaken in each of the several departments. 

To supervise works of high, middling and low description, 
superintendents with corresponding qualifications shall be 
employed. 

The king will have to suffer in the end if he curtails the fixed 
amount of expenditure on profitable works. 



82 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(When a man engaged by Government for any work absents 
himself), his sureties who conjointly received (wages?) from the 
government, or his sons, brothers, wives, daughters or servants 
living upon his work shall bear the loss caused to the Government. 

The work of 354 days and nights is a year. Such a work shall 
be paid for more or less in proportion to its quantity at the end of 
the month, Ashddha (about the middle of July). (The work during) 
the intercalary month shall be (separately) calculated. 

A government officer, not caring to know the information 
gathered by espionage and neglecting to supervise the despatch of 
work in his own department as regulated, may occasion loss of 
revenue to the government owing to his ignorance, or owing to his 
idleness when he is too weak to endure the trouble of activity, or 
due to inadvertence in perceiving sound and other objects of sense, 
or by being timid when he is afraid of clamour, unrighteousness, 
and untoward results, or owing to selfish desire when he is 
favourably disposed towards those who are desirous to achieve 
their own selfish ends, or by cruelty due to anger, or by lack of 
dignity when he is surrounded by a host of learned and needy 
sycophants, or by making use of false balance, false measures, and 
false calculation owing to greediness. 

The school of Manu hold that a fine equal to the loss of 
revenue and multiplied by the serial number of the circumstances 
of the guilt just narrated in order shall be imposed upon him. 

The school of Pardsara hold that the fine in all the cases shall 
be eight times the amount lost. 

The school of Brihaspathi say that it shall 
be ten times the amount. 



83 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The school of Us anas say that it shall be 
twenty times the amount. 

But Kautilya says that it shall be proportional to the guilt. 
Accounts shall be submitted in the month of As hddha. 

When they (the accountants of different districts) present 
themselves with sealed books, commodities and net revenue, they 
shall all be kept apart in one place so that they cannot carry on 
conversation with each other. Having heard from them the totals of 
receipts, expenditure, and net revenue, the net amount shall be 
received. 

By how much the superintendent of a department augments 
the net total of its revenue either by increasing any one of the items 
of its receipts or by decreasing anyone of the items of expenditure, 
he shall be rewarded eight times that amount. But when it is 
reversed (i.e., when the net total is decreased), the award shall also 
be reversed (i.e., he shall be made to pay eight times the decrease). 

Those accountants who do not present themselves in time or 
do not produce their account books along with the net revenue shall 
be fined ten times the amount due from them. 

When a superintendent of accounts (kdranika) does not at 
once proceed to receive and check the accounts when the clerks 
(kdrmika) are ready, he shall be punished with the first 
amercement. In the reverse case (i.e., when the clerks are not 
ready), the clerks shall be punished with double the first 
amercement. 

All the ministers (mahdmdras) shall together narrate the 
whole of the actual accounts pertaining to each department. 



84 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whoever of these (ministers or clerks ?) is of undivided 
counsel or keeps himself aloof, or utters falsehood shall be 
punished with the highest amercement. 

When an accountant has not prepared the table of daily 
accounts (akritdhorupaharam), he may be given a month more (for 
its preparation). After the lapse of one month he shall be fined at 
the rate of 200 panas for each month (during which he delays the 
accounts). 

If an accountant has to write only a small portion of the 
accounts pertaining to net revenue, he may be allowed five nights 
to prepare it. 

Then the table of daily accounts submitted by him along with 
the net revenue shall be checked with reference to the regulated 
forms of righteous transactions and precedents and by applying 
such arithmetical processes as addition, subtraction, inference and 
by espionage. It shall also be verified with reference to (such 
divisions of time as) days, five nights, pakshds, months, 
four-months, and the year. 

The receipt shall be verified with reference to the place and 
time pertaining to them, the form of their collection {i.e., capital, 
share), the amount of the present and past produce, the person who 
has paid it, the person who caused its payment, the officer who 
fixed the amount payable, and the officer who received it. The 
expenditure shall be verified with reference to the cause of the 
profit from any source in the place and time pertaining to each 
item, the amount payable, the amount paid, the person who ordered 
the collection, the person who remitted the same, the person who 
delivered it, and the person who finally received it. 

Likewise the net revenue shall be verified with reference to 

85 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the place, time, and source pertaining to it, its standard of fineness 
and quantity, and the persons who are employed to guard the 
deposits and magazines (of grains, etc.). 

When an officer (kdranika) does not facilitate or prevents the 
execution of the king's order, or renders the receipts and 
expenditure otherwise than prescribed, he shall be punished with 
the first amercement. 

Any clerk who violates or deviates from the prescribed form 
of writing accounts, enters what is unknown to him, or makes 
double or treble entries (punaruktam) shall be fined Ylpanas. 

He who scrapes off the net total shall be doubly punished. 

He who eats it up shall be fined eight times. 

He who causes loss of revenue shall not only pay a fine equal 
to five times the amount lost (panchabandha), but also make good 
the loss. In case of uttering a lie, the punishment levied for theft 
shall be imposed. (When an entry lost or omitted) is made later or is 
made to appear as forgotten, but added later on recollection, the 
punishment shall be double the above. 

The king shall forgive an offence when it is trifling, have 
satisfaction even when the revenue is scanty, and honour with 
rewards (pragraha) such of his superintendents as are of immense 
benefit to him. 

[Thus ends Chapter VII, "The Business of Keeping up the 
Accounts in the Officeof Accountants," in Book II, "The Duties of 
Government Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End 
of twenty-eighth chapter from the beginning.] 



86 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER VIII. DETECTION OF WHAT IS EMBEZZLED 
BY GOVERNMENT SERVANTS OUT OF STATE 
REVENUE. 

ALL undertakings depend upon finance. Hence foremost 
attention shall be paid to the treasury. 

Public prosperity (prachdrasamriddhih), rewards for good 
conduct (charitrdnugrahah), capture of thieves, dispensing with 
(the service of too many) government servants, abundance of 
harvest, prosperity of commerce, absence of troubles and 
calamities (upasargapramokshah), diminution of remission of 
taxes, and income in gold (hiranyopdyanam) are all conducive to 
financial prosperity. 

Obstruction (pratibandha), loan (prayoga), trading 
(vyavahdra), fabrication of accounts (avastdra), causing the loss of 
revenue (parihdpana), self-enjoyment (upabhoga), barter 
(parivartana), and defalcation (apahdra) are the causes that tend to 
deplete the treasury. 

Failure to start an undertaking or to realise its results, or to 
credit its profits (to the treasury) is known as obstruction. Herein a 
fine of ten times the amount in question shall be imposed. 

Lending the money of the treasury on 
periodical interest is a loan. 

Carrying on trade by making use of 
government money is trading. 

These two acts shall be punished with a fine of twice the 
profit earned. 

87 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whoever makes as unripe the ripe time or as ripe the unripe 
time (of revenue collection) is guilty of fabrication. Herein a fine of 
ten times the amount (panchabandha) shall be imposed. 

Whoever lessens a fixed amount of income or enhances the 
expenditure is guilty of causing the loss of revenue. Herein a fine 
of four times the loss shall be imposed. 

Whoever enjoys himself or causes others to enjoy whatever 
belongs to the king is guilty of self-enjoyment. Herein 
death-sentence shall be passed for enjoying gems, middlemost 
amercement for enjoying valuable articles, and restoration of the 
articles together with a fine equal to their value shall be the 
punishment for enjoying articles of inferior value. 

The act of exchanging government articles for (similar) 
articles of others is barter. This offence is explained by 
self-enjoyment. 

Whoever does not take into the treasury the fixed amount of 
revenue collected, or does not spend what is ordered to be spent, or 
misrepresents the net revenue collected is guilty of defalcation of 
government money. Herein a fine of twelve times the amount shall 
be imposed. 

There are about forty ways of embezzlement: what is realised 
earlier is entered later on; what is realised later is entered earlier; 
what ought to be realised is not realised; what is hard to realise is 
shown as realised; what is collected is shown as not collected; what 
has not been collected is shown as collected; what is collected in 
part is entered as collected in full; what is collected in full is 
entered as collected in part; what is collected is of one sort, while 
what is entered is of another sort; what is realised from one source 
is shown as realised from another; what is payable is not paid; what 

88 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



is not payable is paid; not paid in time; paid untimely; small gifts 
made large gifts; large gifts made small gifts; what is gifted is of 
one sort while what is entered is of another; the real donee is one 
while the person entered (in the register) as donee is another; what 
has been taken into (the treasury) is removed while what has not 
been credited to it is shown as credited; raw materials that are not 
paid for are entered, while those that are paid for are not entered; an 
aggregate is scattered in pieces; scattered items are converted into 
an aggregate; commodities of greater value are bartered for those 
of small value; what is of smaller value is bartered for one of 
greater value; price of commodities enhanced; price of 
commodities lowered; number of nights increased; number of 
nights decreased; the year not in harmony with its months; the 
month not in harmony with its days; inconsistency in the 
transactions carried on with personal supervision 
(samdgamavishdnah); misrepresentation of the source of income; 
inconsistency in giving charities; incongruity in representing the 
work turned out; inconsistency in dealing with fixed items; 
misrepresentation of test marks or the standard of fineness (of gold 
and silver); misrepresentation of prices of commodities; making 
use of false weight and measures; deception in counting articles; 
and making use of false cubic measures such as bhdjan — these are 
the several ways of embezzlement. 

Under the above circumstances, the persons concerned such 
as the treasurer (nidhdyaka), the prescriber (nibandhaka), the 
receiver (pratigrdhaka), the payer (ddyaka), the person who 
caused the payment (dapaka), the ministerial servants of the officer 
(mantri-vaiydvrityakara) shall each be separately examined. If any 
one of these tells a lie, he shall receive the same punishment as the 
chief-officer, (yukta) who committed the offence. 

A proclamation in public (prachdra) shall be made to the 
effect "whoever has suffered at the hands of this offender may 

89 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



make their grievances known to the king." 

Those who respond to the call shall receive such 
compensation as is equal to the loss they have sustained. 

When there are a number of offences in which a single 
officer is involved, and when his being guilty of parokta in any one 
of those charges has been established, he shall be answerable for all 
those offences. Otherwise (i.e., when it is not established), he shall 
be tried for each of the charges. 

When a government servant has been proved to be guilty of 
having misappropriated part of a large sum in question, he shall be 
answerable for the whole. 

Any informant (siichaka) who supplies information about 
embezzlement just under perpetration shall, if he succeeds in 
proving it, get as reward one-sixth of the amount in question; if he 
happens to be a government servant (bhritaka), he shall get for the 
same act one-twelfth of the amount. 

If an informant succeeds in proving only a part of a big 
embezzlement, he shall, nevertheless, get the prescribed share of 
the part of the embezzled amount proved. 

An informant who fails to prove (his assertion) shall be liable 
to monetary or corporal punishment, and shall never be acquitted. 

When the charge is proved, the informant may impute the 
tale-bearing to someone else or clear himself in any other way from 
the blame. Any informant who withdraws his assertion prevailed 
upon by the insinuations of the accused shall be condemned to 
death. 

[Thus ends Chapter VIII, "Detection of what is Embezzled by 

90 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Government Servants out of State Revenue," in Book II, " The 
Duties of Government Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of twenty-ninth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IX. EXAMINATION OF THE CONDUCT OF 
GOVERNMENT SERVANTS. 

THOSE who are possessed of ministerial qualifications shall, 
in accordance with their individual capacity, be appointed as 
superintendents of government departments. While engaged in 
work, they shall be daily examined; for men are naturally 
fickle-minded and like horses at work exhibit constant change in 
their temper. Hence the agency and tools which they make use of, 
the place and time of the work they are engaged in, as well as the 
precise form of the work, the outlay, and the results shall always be 
ascertained. 

Without dissension and without any concert among 
themselves, they shall carry on their work as ordered. 

When in concert, they eat up (the revenue). 

When in disunion, they mar the work. 

Without bringing to the knowledge of their master (bhartri, 
the king), they shall undertake nothing except remedial measures 
against imminent dangers. 

A fine of twice the amount of their daily pay and of the 
expenditure (incurred by them) shall be fixed for any inadvertence 
on their part. 

91 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whoever of the superintendents makes as much as, or more 
than, the amount of fixed revenue shall be honoured with 
promotion and rewards. 

(My) teacher holds that that officer who spends too much and 
brings in little revenue eats it up; while he who proves the revenue 
(i.e., brings in more than he spends) as well as the officer who 
brings inasmuch as he spends does not eat up the revenue. 

But Kautilya holds that cases of embezzlement or no 
embezzlement can be ascertained through spies alone. 

Whoever lessens the revenue eats the king's wealth. If owing 
to inadvertence he causes diminution in revenue, he shall be 
compelled to make good the loss. 

Whoever doubles the revenue eats into the vitality of the 
country. If he brings in double the amount to the king, he shall, if 
the offence is small, be warned not to repeat the same; but if the 
offence be grave he should proportionally be punished. 

Whoever spends the revenue (without bringing in any profit) 
eats up the labour of workmen. Such an officer shall be punished in 
proportion to the value of the work done, the number of days taken, 
the amount of capital spent, and the amount of daily wages paid. 

Hence the chief officer of each department (adhikarana) shall 
thoroughly scrutinise the real amount of the work done, the 
receipts realised from, and the expenditure incurred in that 
departmental work both in detail and in the aggregate. 

He shall also check (pratishedhayet) prodigal, spend-thrift 
and niggardly persons. 

Whoever unjustly eats up the property left by his father and 

92 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



grandfather is a prodigal person (mulahara). 

Whoever eats all that he earns is a spendthrift (tdddtvika). 

Whoever hordes money, entailing hardship both on himself 
and his servants is niggardly. 

Whoever of these three kinds of persons has the support of a 
strong party shall not be disturbed; but he who has no such support 
shall be caught hold of (parydddtavyah). 

Whoever is niggardly in spite of his immense property, 
hordes, deposits, or sends out — hordes in his own house, deposits 
with citizens or country people or sends out to foreign 
countries; — a spy shall find out the advisers, friends, servants, 
relations, partisans, as well as the income and expenditure of such a 
niggardly person. Whoever in a foreign country carries out the 
work of such a niggardly person shall be prevailed upon to give out 
the secret. When the secret is known, the niggardly person shall be 
murdered apparently under the orders of (his) avowed enemy. 

Hence the superintendents of all the departments shall carry 
on their respective works in company with accountants, writers, 
coin-examiners, the treasurers, and military officers 
(uttarddhyaksha) . 

Those who attend upon military officers and are noted for 
their honesty and good conduct shall be spies to watch the conduct 
of accountants and other clerks. 

Each department shall be officered by several temporary 
heads. 

Just as it is impossible not to taste the honey or the poison that 
finds itself at the tip of the tongue, so it is impossible for a 

93 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



government servant not to eat up, at least, a bit of the king's 
revenue. Just as fish moving under water cannot possibly be found 
out either as drinking or not drinking water, so government 
servants employed in the government work cannot be found out 
(while) taking money (for themselves). 

It is possible to mark the movements of birds flying high up in 
the sky; but not so is it possible to ascertain the movement of 
government servants of hidden purpose. 

Government servants shall not only be confiscated of their 
ill-earned hordes, but also be transferred from one work to another, 
so that they cannot either misappropriate Government money or 
vomit what they have eaten up. 

Those who increase the king's revenue instead of eating it up 
and are loyally devoted to him shall be made permanent in service. 

[Thus ends Chapter IX, "Examination of the Conduct of 
Government Servants" in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of thirtieth 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER X. THE PROCEDURE OF FORMING ROYAL 
WRITS. 

(TEACHERS) say that (the word) sdsana, command, (is 
applicable only to) royal writs (sdsana). 

Writs are of great importance to kings inasmuch as treaties 
and ultimate leading to war depend upon writs. 

94 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Hence one who is possessed of ministerial qualifications, 
acquainted with all kinds of customs, smart in composition, good 
in legible writing, and sharp in reading shall be appointed as a 
writer (lekhaka). 

Such a writer, having attentively listened to the king's order 
and having well thought out the matter under consideration, shall 
reduce the order to writing. 

As to a writ addressed to a lord (isvara), it shall contain a 
polite mention of his country, his possessions, his family and his 
name, and as to that addressed to a common man (anisvara), it 
shall make a polite mention of his country and name. 

Having paid sufficient attention to the caste, family, social 
rank, age, learning (sruta), occupation, property, character (sila), 
blood-relationship (yaundnubandha) of the addressee, as well as to 
the place and time (of writing), the writer shall form a writ befitting 
the position of the person addressed. 

Arrangement of subject-matter (arthakrama), relevancy 
(sambandha), completeness, sweetness, dignity, and lucidity are 
the necessary qualities of a writ. 

The act of mentioning facts in the order of their importance is 
arrangement. 

When subsequent facts are not contradictory to facts just or 

previously mentioned, and so on till the completion of the letter, it 

is termed relevancy. 

Avoidance of redundancy or deficiency in words or letters; 
impressive description of subject matter by citing reasons, 

95 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



examples, and illustrations; and the use of appropriate and suitably 
strong words (asrdntapada) is completeness. 

The description in exquisite style of a good purport with a 
pleasing effect is sweetness. 

The use of words other than colloquial (agrdmya) is dignity. 

The use of well-known words is lucidity. 

The alphabetical letters beginning with Akdra are sixty-three. 

The combination of letters is a word (pada). The word is of 
four kinds — nouns, verbs, prefixes of verbs, and particles (nipdta). 

A noun is that which signifies an essence (satva). 

A verb is that which has no definite gender and signifies an 
action. 

'Pra' and other words are the prefixes of verbs. 

'Chd and other indeclinable words are particles. 

A group of words conveying a complete sense is a sentence 

(vdkya). 

Combination of words (varga) consisting of not more than 
three words and not less than one word shall be so formed as to 
harmonise with the meaning of immediately following words. 

96 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The word, 'zYz,' is used to indicate the completion of a writ; 
and also to indicate an oral message as in the phrase 
'vdchikamasyeti,' an oral message along with this (writ). 

Calumniation (nindd), commendation, inquiry, narration 
request, refusal, censure, prohibition, command, conciliation, 
promise of help, threat, and persuasion are the thirteen purposes for 
which writs are issued. 

Calumniation (nindd) consists in speaking ill of one's family, 
body and acts. 

Commendation (prasamsd) consists in praising one's family, 
person, and acts. 

To inquire 'how is this?' is inquiry. 

To point out the way as 'thus,' is narration (dkhydna). 

To entreat as 'give,' is request. 

To say that 'I do not give,' is refusal. 

To say that 'it is not worthy of thee,' is censure (updlambhah). 

To say as 'do not do so,' is prohibition (pratishedha). 

To say that 'this should be done,' is command (chodand). 

To say 'what I am, thou art that; 
whichever article is mine is thine also, is 
conciliation (sdntvam). To hold out help 
in trouble is promise of help 

97 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(abhyavapattih). Pointing out the evil 
consequences that may occur in future is 
threat (abhibartsanam). Persuasion is of 
three kinds: that made for the purpose of 
money, that made in case of one's failure 
to fulfill a promise, and that made on 
occasion of any trouble. Also writs of 
information, of command, and of gift; 
likewise writs of remission, of licence, of 
guidance, of reply, and of general 
proclamation are other varieties. 

Thus says (the messenger); so says (the king); if there is any 
truth in this (statement of the messenger), then the thing (agreed to) 
should at once be surrendered; (the messenger) has informed the 
king of all the deeds of the enemy. (Parakdra); — this is the writ of 
information which is held to be of various forms. 

Wherever and especially regarding Government servants the 
king's order either for punishment or for rewards is issued, it is 
called writ of command (djndlekha). 

Where the bestowal of honour for deserving merit is 
contemplated either as help to alleviate affliction (ddhi) or as gift 
(pariddna), there are issued writs of gift (upagrahalekha). 

Whatever favour (anugraha) to special castes, cities, villages, 
or countries of various description is announced in obedience to the 



98 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



king's order, it is called writ of remission (parihdralekha) by those 
who know it. 

Likewise licence or permission (nisrishti) shall be enjoined 
either in word or deed; accordingly it is styled verbal order or writ 
of licence. 

Various kinds of providential visitations or well ascertained 
evils of human make are believed to be the cause for issuing writs 
of guidance (pravrittilekha) to attempt remedies against them. 

When having read a letter and discussed as to the form of 
reply thereto, a reply in accordance with the king's order is made, it 
is called a writ of reply (pratilekha). 

When the king directs his viceroys (isvard) and other officers 
to protect and give material help to travellers either on roads or in 
the interior of the country, it is termed writ of general proclamation 
(sarvatraga lekha) 

Negotiation, bribery, causing dissension, and open attack are 
forms of stratagem (updya). 

Negotiation is of five kinds: — 

Praising the qualities (of an enemy), narrating the mutual 
relationship, pointing out mutual benefit, showing vast future 
prospects, and identity of interests. 

When the family, person, occupation, conduct, learning, 
properties, etc. (of an enemy) are commended with due attention to 
their worth, it is termed praising the qualities (gunasankirthana). 

When the fact of having agnates, blood-relations, teachers 
(maukha), priestly heirarchy (srauva), family, and friends in 

99 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



common is pointed out, it is known as narration of mutual 
relationship (sambandhopakhydna). 

When both parties, the party of a king and that of his enemy 
are shown to be helpful to each other, it is known as pointing out 
mutual benefit (parasparopakdrasamdarsanam). 

Inducement such as 'this being done thus, such result will 
accrue to both of us,' is showing vast future prospects 
(Aydtipradarsanam) . 

To say 'what I am, that thou art; thou mayest utilize in thy 
works whatever is mine,' is identity of interests 
(dtmopanidhdnam) . 

Offering money is bribery (upapraddna). 

Causing fears and suspicion as well as threatening is known 
as sowing dissension. 

Killing, harassing, and plundering is attack (danda). 
Clumsiness, contradiction, repetition, bad grammar, and 
misarrangement are the faults of a writ. 

Black and ugly leaf, (kdlapatrakamachdru) and uneven and 
uncoloured (yirdga) writing cause clumsiness (akdnti). 

Subsequent portion disagreeing with previous portion of a 
letter, causes contradiction (vydghdta). 

Stating for a second time what has already been said above is 
repetition. 

Wrong use of words in gender, number, time and case is bad 

100 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



grammar (apasabda). 

Division of paragraphs (varga) in unsuitable places, omission 
of necessary division of paragraphs, and violation of any other 
necessary qualities of a writ constitute misarrangement 
(samplava). 

Having followed all sciences and having fully observed forms 
of writing in vogue, these rules of writing royal writs have been 
laid down by Kautilya in the interest of kings. 

[Thus ends Chapter X, "The Procedure of Forming Royal Writs," 
in Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilva. End of thirty-first chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XI. EXAMINATION OF GEMS THAT ARE TO 
BE ENTERED INTO THE TREASURY. 

THE Superintendent of the treasury shall, in the presence of 
qualified persons, admit into the treasury whatever he ought to, 
gems (ratna) and articles of superior or inferior value. 

Tdmraparnika, that which is produced in the tdmraparni; 
Pdndyakavdtaka, that which is obtained in Pdndyakavata; Pdsikya, 
that which is produced in the Pdsa; Kauleya, that which is 
produced in the kula; Chaurneya, that which is produced in the 
Churna; Mahendra, that which is obtained near the mountain of 
Mahendra; Kdrdamika, that which is produced in the Kdrdama; 
Srautasiya, that which is produced in the Srotasi; Hrddiya, that 
which is produced in (a deep pool of water known as) Hrada; and 

101 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Haimavata, that which is obtained in the vicinity of the Himalayas 
are the several varieties of pearls. 

Oyster-shells, conch-shells, and other miscellaneous things 
are the wombs of pearls. 

That which is like masura (ervum hirsutam), that which 
consists of three joints (triputaka), that which is like a tortoise 
(kiirmaka), that which is semi-circular, that which consists of 
several coatings, that which is double (ydmaka), that which is 
scratched, that which is of rough surface, that which is possessed of 
spots (siktakam), that which is like the water-pot used by an 
ascetic, that which is of dark-brown or blue colour, and that which 
is badly perforated are inauspicious. 

That which is big, circular, without bottom (nistalam), 
brilliant, white, heavy, soft to the touch, and properly perforated is 
the best. 

Sirshaka, upasirshaka, prakdndaka, avaghdtaka, and 
taralapratibandha are several varieties of pearl necklaces. 

One thousand and eight strings of pearls form the necklace, 
Indrachchhanda . 

Half of the above is Vijayachchhanda. 

Sixty-four strings make up Ardhahdra. 

Fifty-four strings make up Rasmikaldpa. 

102 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Thirty-two strings make up Guchchha. 

Twenty-seven strings make up Nakshatramdla. 

Twenty-four strings make up Ardhaguchchha. 

Twenty strings make up Mdnavaka. 

Half of the above is Ardhamdnavaka. 

The same necklaces with a gem at the centre are called by the 
same names with the words 'Mdnavaka 1 suffixed to their respective 

names. 

When all the strings making up a necklace are of sirshaka 
pattern, it is called pure necklace (suddhahdra); likewise with 
strings of other pattern. That which contains a gem in the centre is 
(also) called Ardhamdnavaka. 

That which contains three slab-like gems (triphalaka) or five 
slab-like gems (panchaphalaka) in the centre is termed 
Phalakahdra. 

An only string of pearls is called pure Ekdvali; the same with a 
gem in the centre is called Yashti; the same variegated with gold 
globules is termed Ratndvali. 

A string made of pearls and gold globules alternately put is 
called Apavartaka. 

103 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Strings of pearls with a gold wire between two strings is 

called Sopdnaka. 

The same with a gem in the centre is called Manisopdnaka. 

The above will explain the formation of head-strings, 
bracelets, anklets, waist-bands, and other varieties. 

Kauta, that which is obtained in the Kiita; Mauleyaka, that 
which is found in the Miileya; and Paras amudraka, that which is 
found beyond the ocean are several varieties of gems. 

That which possesses such pleasant colour as that of the red 
lotus flower, or that of the flower of Pdrijdta (Erithrina Indica), or 
that of the rising sun is the Saugandhika gem. 

That which is of the colour of blue lotus flower, or of sirisha 
(Acacia Sirisa), or of water, or of fresh bamboo, or of the colour of 
the feathers of a parrot is the Vaidurya gem Pushy ardga, 
Gomutraka, and Gomedika are other varieties of the same. 

That which is characterised with blue lines, that which is of 
the colour of the flower of Kaldya (a kind of phraseolus), or which 
is intensely blue, which possesses the colour of Jambu fruit (rose 
apple), or which is as blue as the clouds is the Indranila gem; 
Nandaka (pleasing gem), Sravanmadhya (that which appears to 
pour water from its centre), Sitavrishti (that which appears to pour 
cold shower), and Suryakdnta (sunstone) are other forms of gems. 

Gems are hexagonal, quadrangular, or circular possessed of 
dazzling glow, pure, smooth, heavy, brilliant, transparent 
(antargataprabha) and illuminating; such are the qualities of gems. 

Faint colour, sandy layer, spots, holes, bad perforation, and 

104 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



scratches are the defects of gems. 

Vimalaka (pure), sasyaka (plant-like), Anjanamulaka 
(deep-dark), Pittaka (like the bile of a cow) Sulabhaka (easily 
procurable), Lohitaka (red), Amritdmsuka (of white rays), 
Jyotirasaka (glowing), Maileyaka, Ahichchhatraka , (procured in 
the country of Ahichchhatra), Kurpa, Putikurpa, and 
Sugandhikurpa, Kshirapaka, Suktichurnaka (like the powder of an 
oystershell), Sildpravdlaka (like coral), Pulaka, Sukrapulaka are 
varieties of inferior gems. 

The rest are metalic beads (kdchamani). 

Sabhdrdshtraka, that which is found in the country of 
Sabhdrdshtra; Madhyamardshtraka, that which is found in the 
Central Province; Kdsmaka, that which is found in the country of 
Kdsmaka; Srikatanaka, that which is found in the vicinity of the 
mountain, Vedotkata; Manimantaka, that which is found near the 
mountain Maniman or Manimanta; and Indravdnakd are 
diamonds. 

Mines, streams, and other miscellaneous places are their 
sources. 

The colour of a diamond may be like that of a cat's eye, that of 
the flower of Sirisha (Acacia Sirisa), the urine of a cow, the bile of 
a cow, like alum (sphatika), the flower of Mdlati, or like that of any 
of the gems (described above). 

That which is big, heavy, hard (prahdrasaham, tolerant of 
hitting), regular (samakona), capable of scratching on the surface 
of vessels (bhdjanalekhi), refractive of light (kubrdmi), and 
brilliant is the best. 

That which is devoid of angles, uneven (nirasrikam), and 

105 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



bent on one side (pdrsvdpavrittam) is inauspicious. 

Alakandaka, and Vaivarnaka are the two varieties of coral 
which is possessed of ruby-like colour, which is very hard, and 
which is free from the contamination of other substances inside. 

Sdtana is red and smells like the earth; Gosirshaka is dark red 
and smells like fish; Harichandana is of the colour of the feathers 
of a parrot and smells like tamarind or mango fruit; likewise 
Tdrnasa; Grdmeruka is red or dark red and smells like the urine of 
a goat; Daivasabheya is red and smells like a lotus flower; likewise 
Aupaka (Jdpaka); Jongaka and Taurupa are red or dark red and 
soft; Maleyaka is reddish white; Kuchandana is as black as Agaru 
(resin of the aloe) or red or dark red and very rough; 
Kdla-parvataka is of pleasant appearance; Kosdkaraparvataka 
(that which is the product of that mountain which is of the shape of 
a bud) is black or variegated black; Sitodakiya is black and soft, 
and smells like a lotus-flower; Ndgaparvataka (that which is the 
product of Naga mountain) is rough and is possessed of the colour 
of Saivala (Vallisneria); and Sdkala is brown. 

Light, soft, moist (asydna, not dry), as greasy as ghee, of 
pleasant smell, adhesive to the skin, of mild smell, retentive of 
colour and smell, tolerant of heat, absorptive of heat, and 
comfortable to the skin— these are the characteristics of sandal 
(chandana) . 

(As to) Agaru (Agallochum, resin of aloe): — 

Jongaka is black or variegated black and is possessed of 
variegated spots; Dongaka is black; and Pdrasamudraka is of 
variegated colour and smells like cascus or like Navamdlika 
(jasminum). 



106 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(Agaru is) heavy, soft, greasy, smells far and long, burns 
slowly, gives out continuous smoke while burning, is of uniform 
smell, absorbs heat, and is so adhesive to the skin as not to be 
removable by rubbing; — these are the characteristics of Agaru. 

(As to) Tailaparnika: — 
Asokagrdmika, the product of Asokagrdma, is of the colour of 
meat and smells like a lotus flower; Jongaka is reddish yellow and 
smells like a blue lotus flower or like the urine of a cow; 
Grameruka is greasy and smells like a cow's urine; 
Sauvarnakudyaka, product of the country of Suvarnakudya, is 
reddish yellow and smells like Mdtulunga (the fruit of citron tree or 
sweet lime); Purnadvipaka, the product of the island, Purnadviipa, 
smells like a lotus flower or like butter; Bhadrasriya and 
Pdralauhityaka are of the colour of nutmeg; Antarvatya is of the 
colour of cascus,— the last two smell like Kushtha (Costus 
Speciosus); Kaleyaka which is a product of Svarna-bhumi, 
gold-producing land, is yellow and greasy; and Auttaraparvataka 
(a product of, the north mountain) is reddish yellow. 

The above (fragrant substances) are commodities of superior 
value (Sara). 

The smell of the Tailaparnika substances is lasting, no matter 
whether they are made into a paste or boiled or burnt; also it is 
neither changed nor affected even when mixed with other 
substances; and these substances resemble sandal and Agallochum 
in their qualities. 

Kdntandvaka, Praiyaka, and Auttara-parvataka are the 
varieties of skins. 

Kdntandvaka is of the colour of the neck of the peacock; 
Praiyaka is variegated with blue, yellow, and white spots; these 

107 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



two are eight angulas (inches) long. 

Also Bisi and Mahdbisi are the products of Dvddasagrdma, 
twelve villages. 

That which is of indistinct colour, hairy, and variegated (with 
spots) is (called) Bisi. 

That which is rough and almost white is Mahdbisi (great 
Bisi); These two are twelve angulas long. 

Sydmika, Kdlika, Kadali, Chandrottara, and Sdkuld are 
(other kinds of skins) procured from Aroha (Arohaja). 

Sydmika is brown and contains variegated spots; Kdlika is 
brown or of the colour of a pigeon; these two are eight angulas 
long. Kadali is rough and two feet long; when Kadali bears 
variegated moonlike spots, it is called Chandrottarakadali and is 
one-third of its length; Sdkuld is variegated with large round spots 
similar to those that manifest themselves in a kind of leprosy 
(kushtha), or is furnished with tendrils and spotted like a deer's 
skin. 

Sdmura, Chinasi, and Sdmuli are (skins procured from 
Bdhlava, (Bahlaveya). 

Sdmura is thirty-six angulas long and black; Chinasi is 
reddish black or blackish white; Sdmuli is of the colour of wheat. 

Sdtina, Nalatula, and Vrittapuchchha are the skins of aquatic 
animals (Audra). 

Sdtina is black; Nalatula is of the colour of the fibre of Nala, a 
kind of grass; and Vrittapuchchha (that which possesses a round 
tail) is brown. 

108 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The above are the varieties of skins. 

Of skins, that which is soft, smooth and hairy is the best. 

Blankets made of sheep's wool may be white, purely red, or as 
red as a lotus flower. They may be made of worsted threads by 
sewing (khachita); or may be woven of woollen threads of various 
colour (vdnachitra); or may be made of different pieces 
(khandasanghdtya); or may be woven of uniform woollen threads 
(tantuvichchhinna) . 

Woollen blankets are (of ten kinds): — Kambala, 
Kauchapaka, Kulamitika, Saumitika, Turagastarana, Varnaka, 
Talichchhaka, Vdravdna, Paristoma, and Samantabhadraka. 

Of these, that which is slippery (pichchhila) as a wet surface, 
possessed of fine hair, and soft, is the best. 

That (blanket) which is made up of eight pieces and black in 
colour is called Bhingisi used as rain-proof ; likewise is Apasdraka; 
both are the products of Nepal. 

Samputika, Chaturasrika, Lambara, Katavdnaka, 
Pravdraka, and Sattalika are (blankets made of) the wool of wild 
animals. 

That which is manufactured in the country, Vanga (vangaka) 
is a white and soft fabric (dukula); that of Pdndya manufacture 
(Paundraka) is black and as soft as the surface of a gem; and that 
which is the product of the country, Suvarnakudya, is as red as the 
sun, as soft as the surface of the gem, woven while the threads are 
very wet, and of uniform (chaturasra) or mixed texture 
(vydmisravdna). 



109 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Single, half, double, treble and quadruple garments are 
varieties of the same. 

The above will explain other kinds of fabrics such as Kdsika, 
Benarese products, and Kshauma which is manufactured in 
Pdndya (Paundraka). 

Mdgadhika (product of the Magadha country), Paundraka, 
and Sauvarnakudyaka are fibrous garments. 

Ndgavriksha (a species of a tree), Likucha (Artocarpus 
Lakucha), and Vakula (Mimusops Elengi), and Vata (Ficus Indica) 
are the sources (of their fibres). 

That of Ndgavriksha is yellow (pita); that of Likucha is of the 
colour of wheat; that of Vakula is white; and the rest is of the 
colour of butter. 

Of these, that which is produced in the country of 
Suvarnakudya is the best. 

The above will explain the fabrics known as kauseya, 
silk-cloth, and chinapatta, fabrics of China manufacture. 

Of cotton fabrics, those of Madhura, of Apardnta, western 
parts, of Kdlinga, of Kdsi, of Vanga, of Vatsa, and of Mahisha are 
the best. 

As to other kinds of gems (which are not treated of here), the 
superintendent shall ascertain their size, their value, species, form, 
utility, their treatment, the repair of old ones, any adulteration that 
is not easily detected, their wear and tear due to lapse of time and 
place, as well as remedies against those which are inauspicious 
(himsra). 



110 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



[Thus ends Chapter XI, "Examination of Gems that are to be 
entered into the Treasury," in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 
thirty-second chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XII. CONDUCTING MINING OPERATIONS 
AND MANUFACTURE. 

POSSESSED of the knowledge of the science dealing with 
copper and other minerals (Sulbddhdtusdstra), experienced in the 
art of distillation and condensation of mercury (rasapdka) and of 
testing gems, aided by experts in mineralogy and equipped with 
mining labourers and necessary instruments, the superintendent of 
mines shall examine mines which, on account of their containing 
mineral excrement (kitta), crucibles, charcoal, and ashes, may 
appear to have been once exploited or which may be newly 
discovered on plains or mountain- slopes possessing mineral ores, 
the richness of which can be ascertained by weight, depth of 
colour, piercing smell, and taste. 

Liquids which ooze out from pits, eaves, slopes, or deep 
excavations of well-known mountains; which have the colour of 
the fruit of rose-apple (jambu), of mango, and of fanpalm; which 
are as yellow as ripe turmeric, sulphurate of arsenic (haritdla), 
honeycomb, and vermilion; which are as resplendent as the petals 
of a lotus, or the feathers of a parrot or a peacock; which are 
adjacent to (any mass of) water or shrubs of similar colour; and 
which are greasy (chikkana), transparent (visada), and very heavy 
are ores of gold (kdnchanika). Likewise liquids which, when 
dropped on water, spread like oil to which dirt and filth adhere, and 
which amalgamate themselves more than cent per cent (satddupari 

111 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



veddhdrah) with copper or silver. 

Of similar appearance as the above (tatpratirupakam), but of 
piercing smell and taste is Bitumen. 

Those ores which are obtained from plains or slopes of 
mountains; which are either yellow or as red as copper or reddish 
yellow; which are disjoined and marked with blue lines; which 
have the colour of black beans (masha, Phraseolus Radiatus), 
green beans (mudga, Phraseolus Mungo), and sesamum; which are 
marked with spots like a drop of curd and resplendent as turmeric, 
yellow myrobalan, petals of a lotus, acquatic plant, the liver or the 
spleen; which possess a sandy layer within them and are marked 
with figures of a circle or a svastika; which contain globular 
masses (sagulika); and which, when roasted do not split, but emit 
much foam and smoke are the ores of gold (suvarnadhdtavah), and 
are used to form amalgams with copper or silver (prativdpdrthaste 
stdmrarupyavedhardh) . 

Those ores which have the colour of a conch-shell, camphor, 
alum, butter, a pigeon, turtle-dove, Vimalaka (a kind of precious 
stone), or the neck of a peacock; which are as resplendent as opal 
(sasyaka), agate (gomedaka), cane-sugar (guda), and granulated 
sugar (matsyandika) which has the colour of the flower of koviddra 
(Bauhinia Variegata), of lotus, of patali (Bignonia Suaveolens), of 
kalaya (a kind of phraseolus), of kshauma (flax), and of atasi 
(Dinuin Usitatissimum); which may be in combination with lead or 
iron (anjana); which smell like raw meat, are disjoined gray or 
blackish white, and are marked with lines or spots; and which, 
when roasted, do not split, but emit much foam and smoke are 
silver ores. 

The heavier the ores, the greater will be the quantity of metal 
in them (satvavriddhih). 

112 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The impurities of ores, whether superficial or inseparably 
combined with them can be got rid of and the metal melted when 
the ores are (chemically) treated with Tikshna urine (mutra) and 
alkalies (kshdra), and are mixed or smeared over with the mixture 
of (the powder of) Rajavriksha (Clitoria Ternatea), Vata (Ficus 
Indica), and Pelu (Carnea Arborea), together with cow's bile and 
the urine and dung of a buffalo, an ass and an elephant. 

(Metals) are rendered soft when they are treated with (the 
powder of) kandali (mushroom), and vajrakanda, (Antiquorum) 
together with the ashes of barley, black beans, paldsa (Butea 
Frondosa), and pelu (Carnea Arborea), or with the milk of both 
the cow and the sheep. Whatever metal is split into a hundred 
thousand parts is rendered soft when it is thrice soaked in the 
mixture made up of honey (madhu), madhuka (Bassia Latifolia), 
sheep's milk, sesamum oil, clarified butter, jaggery, kinva 
(ferment) and mushroom. 

Permanent softness (mridustambhana) is also attained when 
the metal is treated with the powder of cow's teeth and horn. 

Those ores which are obtained from plains or slopes of 
mountains; and which are heavy, greasy, soft, tawny, green, dark, 
bluish-yellow (harita), pale-red, or red are ores of copper. 

Those ores which have the colour of kdkamechaka (Solarium 
Indica), pigeon, or cow's bile, and which are marked with white 
lines and smell like raw meat are the ores of lead. 

Those ores which are as variegated in colour as saline soil or 
which have the colour of a burnt lump of earth are the ores of tin. 

Those ores which are of orange colour (kurumba), or pale-red 
(pdndurohita), or of the colour of the flower of sinduvdra (Vitex 
Trifolia) are the ores of tikshna. 

113 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Those ores which are of the colour of the leaf of kdnda 
(Artemisia Indica) or of the leaf of birch are the ores of vaikrintaka. 

Pure, smooth, efflugent, sounding (when struck), very hard 
(satativrah), and of little colour (tanurdga) are precious stones. 

The yield of mines may be put to such uses as are in vogue. 

Commerce in commodities manufactured from mineral 
products shall be centralized and punishment for manufacturers, 
sellers, and purchasers of such commodities outside the prescribed 
locality shall also be laid down. 

A mine-labourer who steals mineral products except precious 
stones shall be punished with a fine of eight times their value. 

Any person who steals mineral products or carries on mining 
operations without license shall be bound (with chains) and caused 
to work (as a prisoner). 

Mines which yield such minerals as are made use of in 
preparing vessels (bhdnda) as well as those mines which require 
large outlay to work out may be leased out for a fixed number of 
the shares of the output or for a fixed rent (bhdgena prakrayena va) 
Such mines as can be worked out without much outlay shall be 
directly exploited (by Government agency). 

The superintendent of metals (lohddhyakshah) shall carry on 
the manufacture of copper, lead, tin, vaikrintaka (mercury [?]), 
drakuta (brass), vritta(7); kamsa (bronze or bell-metal), tdla 
(sulphurate of arsenic), and lodhra (?), and also of commodities 
(bhdnda) from them. 

The superintendent of mint (lakshnddhyakshah), shall carry 

114 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



on the manufacture of silver coins (rupyarupa) made up of four 
parts of copper and one- sixteenth part (mdsha) of any one of the 
metals, tikshna, trapu, sisa, and anjana. There shall be apana, half 
apana, a quarter and one-eighth. 

Copper coins (tdmrarupa) made up of four parts of an alloy 
(pddajivam), shall be a mdshaka, half a mdshaka, kdkani and half a 
kdkani. 

The examiner of coins (rupadarsaka) shall regulate currency 
both as a medium of exchange (yydvahdrikim) and as legal tender 
admissible into the treasury (kosapravesydm): The premia levied 
on coins paid into the treasury shall be) 8 per cent, known as 
rupika, 5 per cent known as vydji, one-eighth pana per cent as 
pdrikshika (testing charge), besides (cha) a fine of 25 pana to be 
imposed on offenders other than the manufacturer, the seller, the 
purchaser and the examiner. 

The superintendent of ocean-mines (khanyadhyakshah) shall 
attend to the collection of conch-shells, diamonds, precious stones, 
pearls, corals, and salt (kshdra) and also regulate the commerce in 
the above commodities. 

Soon after crystalisation of salt is over, the superintendent of 
salt shall in time collect both the money-rent (prakraya) and the 
quantity of the shares of salt due to the government; and by the sale 
of salt (thus collected as shares) he shall realise not only its value 
(mulyam), but also the premium of five per cent (vydjim), both in 
cash (rupa). 

Imported salt (dgantulavanam) shall pay one-sixth portion 
(shadbhdga) to the king. The sale of this portion (bhdgavibhdga) 
shall fetch the premia of five per cent (vydji), of eight per cent 
(rupika) in cash (rupa). The purchasers shall pay not only the toll 

115 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(sulka), but also the compensation (vaidharana) equivalent to the 
loss entailed on the king's commerce. In default of the above 
payment, he shall be compelled to pay a fine of 600 panas. 

Adulteration of salt shall be punished with the highest 
amercement; likewise persons other than hermits (ydnaprastha) 
manufacturing salt without license. 

Men learned in the Vedas, persons engaged in penance, as 
well as labourers may take with them salt for food; salt and alkalies 
for purposes other than this shall be subject to the payment of toll. 

Thus; besides collecting from mines the ten kinds of revenue, 
such as (1) value of the out-put (mulyd), (2) the share of the out-put 
(vibhdga), (3) the premium of five per cent (vydji), (4) the testing 
charge of coins (parigha), (5) fine previously announced (atyaya), 
(6) toll (sulka), (7) compensation for loss entailed on the king's 
commerce (vaidharana), (8) fines to be determined in proportion 
to the gravity of crimes (danda), (9), coinage (rupa), (10) the 
premium of eight per cent (rupika), the government shall keep as a 
state monopoly both mining and commerce (in minerals). 

Thus taxes (mukhasangraha) on all commodities intended 
for sale shall be prescribed once for all. 

[Thus ends Chapter XII, "Conducting Mining Operations and 
Manufacture" in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 
thirty-third chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIII. SUPERINTENDENT OF GOLD IN THE 
GOLDSMITH'S OFFICE. 

116 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



IN order to manufacture gold and silver jewellry, each being 
kept apart, the superintendent of gold shall have a goldsmiths 
office (akshasdla) consisting of four rooms and one door. 

In the centre of the high road a trained, skilful goldsmith of 
high birth and of reliable character shall be appointed to hold his 
shop. 

Jdmbiinada, that which is the product of the river, Jambu; 
Sdtakumbha, that which is extracted from the mountain of 
Satakumba; Hdtaka, that which is extracted from the mines known 
as Hdtaka; Vainava, that which is the product of the mountain, 
Venu; and Sringasuktija, that which is extracted from sringasukti 
(?) are the varieties of gold. 

(Gold may be obtained) either pure or amalgamated with 
mercury or silver or alloyed with other impurities as mine gold 
(dkarodgata). 

That which is of the colour of the petals of a lotus, ductile, 
glossy, incapable of making any continuous sound (anddi), and 
glittering is the best; that which is reddish yellow (raktapita) is of 
middle quality; and that which is red is of low quality. 

Impure gold is of whitish colour. It shall be fused with lead of 
four times the quantity of the impurity. When gold is rendered 
brittle owing to its contamination with lead, it shall be heated with 
dry cowdung (sushkapatala). When it splits into pieces owing to 
hardness, it shall be drenched (after heating) into oil mixed with 
cowdung (tailagomaye). 

Mine gold which is brittle owing to its contamination with 
lead shall be heated wound round with cloth (pdkapatrdni kritvd); 
and hammered on a wooden anvil. Or it may be drenched in the 

117 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



mixture made of mushroom and vajrakhanda (Antiquorum). 

Tutthodgata, what which is extracted from the mountain, 
Tuttha; gaudika, that which is the product of the country known as 
Gauda; kdmbuka, that which is extracted from the mountain, 
Kambu; and chdkravdlika, that which is extracted from the 
mountain Chakravdla are the varieties of silver. 

Silver which is white, glossy, and ductile is the best; and that 
which is of the reverse quality is bad. 

Impure silver shall be heated with lead of one-fourth the 
quantity of the impurity. 

That which becomes full of globules, white, glowing, and of 
the colour of curd is pure. 

When the streak of pure gold (made on touch-stone) is of the 
colour of turmeric, it is termed suvarna. When from one to sixteen 
kdkanis of gold in a suvarna (of sixteen mdshakas) are replaced by 
from one to sixteen kdkanis of copper, so that the copper is 
inseparably alloyed with the whole mass of the remaining quantity 
of the gold, the sixteen varieties (carats) of the standard of the 
purity of gold (shodasavarnakdh) will be obtained. 

Having first made a streak with suvarna on a touchstone, then 
(by the side of the streak) a streak with a piece of the gold (to be 
compared with it) shall be made. 

Whenever a uniform streak made on the even surface of a 
touch-stone can be wiped off or swept away or when the streak is 
due to the sprinkling of any glittering powder (gairika) by the nail 
on touch-stone, then an attempt for deception can be inferred. 



118 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



If, with the edge of the palm dipped in a solution, of vermilion 
(jdtihinguldka) or of sulphate of iron (pushpakdsisa) in cow's 
urine, gold (suvarna) is touched, it becomes white. 

A touch-stone with soft and shining splendour is the best. The 
touch-stone of the Kalinga country with the colour of green beans 
is also the best. A touch- stone of even or uniform colour is good in 
sale or purchase (of gold). That which possesses the colour of an 
elephant, tinged with green colour and capable of reflecting light 
(pratirdgi) is good in selling gold. That which is hard, durable, and 
of uneven colour and not reflecting light, is good for purchasers 
(krayahitah). That which is grey, greasy, of uniform colour, soft, 
and glossy is the best. 

That (gold) which, when heated, keeps the same colour (tdpo 
bahirantascha samah), is as glittering as tender sprouts, or of the 
colour of the flower of kdrandaka (?) is the best. 

That which is black or blue (in gold) is the impurity 
(aprdptaka). 

We shall deal with the balance and weights under the 
"Superintendent of Weights and Measures" (Chap. XIX, Book II). 
In accordance with the instructions given thereunder silver and 
gold (rupyasuvarnam) may be given in exchange. 

No person who is not an employee shall enter the 
gold-smiths' office. Any person who so enters shall be beheaded 
(uchchhedyah). 

Any workman who enters the office with gold or silver shall 
have to forfeit the same. 

Goldsmiths who are engaged to prepare various kinds of 

119 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



ornaments such as kdnchana (pure gold), prishita (hollow 
ornaments), tvashtri (setting gems in gold) and tapaniya; as well as 
blowers and sweepers shall enter into or exit from the office after 
their person and dress are thoroughly examined. All of their 
instruments together with their unfinished work shall be left where 
they have been at work. That amount of gold which they have 
received and the ornamental work which they were doing shall be 
put in the centre of the office. (Finished articles) shall be examined 
both morning and evening and be locked up with the seal of both 
the manufacturer and the superintendent (kdrayatri, the owner 
getting the articles prepared). 

Kshepana, guna, and kshudra ate three kinds of ornamental 
work. 

Setting jewels (kdcha, glass bead) in gold is termed 
kshepana. 

Thread- making or string making is called guna. 

Solid work (ghana), hollow work (sushira), and the 
manufacture of globules furnished with a rounded orifice is what is 
termed kshudra, low or ordinary work. 

For setting jewels in gold, five parts of kdnchana (pure gold) 
and ten parts of gold alloyed with four parts of copper or silver 
shall be the required quantity (mdna). Here the pure gold shall be 
preserved from the impure gold. 

For setting jewels in hollow ornaments (prishitakdcha 
karmanah), three parts of gold to hold the jewel and four parts for 
the bottom (shall be the required quantity). 

For the work of tvashtri, copper and gold shall be mixed in 

120 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



equal quantities. 

For silver article either solid or hollow, silver may be mixed 
with half of the amount of gold; or by making use of the powder or 
solution of vermilion, gold equal to one-fourth the amount of silver 
of the ornament may be painted (vdsayet) on it. 

Pure and glittering gold is tapaniya. This combined with an 
equal quantity of lead and heated with rock-salt (saindhav'ika) to 
melting point under dry cowdung becomes the basis of gold alloys 
of blue, red, white, yellow (harita), parrot and pidgeon colours. 

The colouring ingredient of gold is one kdkani of tikshna 
which is of the colour of the neck of a peacock, tinged with white, 
and which is dazzling and full of copper (pitapiirnitam). 

Pure or impure silver (tdra) may be heated four times with 
asthituttha (copper sulphate mixed with powdered bone), again 
four times with an equal quantity of lead, again four times with dry 
copper sulphate (sushkatuttha) again three times in skull (kapdla), 
and lastly twice in cowdung. Thus the silver acted upon seventeen 
times by tuttha (shodasatutthdtikrdntam) and lastly heated to white 
light with rock salt may be made to alloy with suvarna to the extent 
of from one kdkani to two Mdshas. Then the suvarna attains white 
colour and is called sveta-tdra. 

When three parts of tapaniya (pure gold) are melted with 
thirty-two parts of svetatdra, the compound becomes reddish white 
(svetalohitakam). When three parts of tapaniya are combined with 
thirty-two parts of copper, the compound becomes yellow (pita, 
red!). Also when three parts of the colouring ingredient 
(rdgatribhdga, i.e., tikshna referred to above) are heated with 
tapaniya, the compound becomes yellowish red (pita). 
When two parts of sveta-tdra and one part of tapaniya are heated, 

121 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the whole mass becomes as green as mudga (Phraseolus Mungo). 
When tapaniya is drenched in a solution of half the quantity of 
black iron (kdldyasa), it becomes black. 

When tapaniya is twice drenched in (the above) solution 
mixed with mercury (rasa), it acquires the colour of the feathers of 
a parrot. 

Before these varieties of gold are put to use, their test streak 
shall be taken on touchstone. The process of assaying tikshna and 
copper shall be well understood. Hence the various counterweights 
(avaneyimdna) used in weighing diamonds, rubies, pearls, corals, 
and coins, (rupa), as well as the proportional amount of gold and 
silver necessary for various kinds of ornaments can be well 
understood. 

Uniform in colour, equal in the colour of test streak to the 
standard gold, devoid of hollow bulbs, ductile (sthira), very 
smooth, free from alloys, pleasing when worn as an ornament, not 
dazzling though glittering, sweet in its uniformity of mass, and 
pleasing the mind and eyes,— these are the qualities of tapaniya, 
pure gold. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIII, "The Superintendent of Gold in the 
Goldsmiths' Office," in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 
thirty-fourth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIV. THE DUTIES OF THE STATE 
GOLDSMITH IN THE HIGH ROAD. 



122 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



THE State Goldsmith shall employ artisans to manufacture 
gold and silver coins (rupyasuvarna) from the bullion of citizens 
and country people. 

The artisans employed in the office shall do their work as 
ordered and in time. When under the excuse that time and nature of 
the work has not been prescribed, they spoil the work, they shall 
not only forfeit their wages, but also pay a fine of twice the amount 
of their wages. When they postpone work, they shall forfeit 
one-fourth the amount of their wages and pay a fine of twice the 
amount of the forfeited wages. 

(The goldsmith of the mint) shall return (to the owners coins 
or ornaments) of the same weight, and of the same quality (varna) 
as that of the bullion (nikshepa) which they received (at the mint). 
With the exception of those (coins) which have been worn out or 
which have undergone diminution (kshinaparisirna), they shall 
receive the same coins (back into the mint) even after the lapse of a 
number of years. 

The state goldsmith shall gather from the artisans employed 
in the mint information concerning pure gold, metallic mass 
(pudgala), coins (lakshana), and rate of exchange (prayoga). 

In getting a suvarna coin (of 16 mdshas) manufactured from 
gold or from silver, one kdkani (one-fourth mdsha) weight of the 
metal more shall be given to the mint towards the loss in 
manufacture. 

The colouring ingredient (rdgaprakshepa) shall be two 
kdkanis of tikshna (copper sulphate ?) one-sixth of which will be 
lost during the manufacture. 

When the quality (varna) of a coin less than the standard of a 
mdsha is lowered, the artisans (concerned) shall be punished with 

123 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the first amercement. When its weight is less than the standard 
weight, they shall be punished with the middlemost amercement. 
Deception in balance or weights shall be punished with the highest 
amercement. Deception in the exchange of manufactured coins 
(kritabhdndopadhau) shall also be punished with the highest 
amercement. 

Whoever causes (gold or silver articles) to be manufactured in 
any place other than the mint or without being noticed by the state 
goldsmith shall be fined 12 pands, while the artisan who does that 
work shall, if found out, be punished with twice the above fine. If 
he is not found out, measures such as are described in Book IV 
shall be taken to detect him. When thus detected, he shall be fined 
200 pands or shall have his fingers cut off. 

Weighing balance and counterweights shall be purchased 
from the superintendent in charge of them. Otherwise a fine of 12 
pands shall be imposed. 

Compact work (ghana), compact and hollow work 
(ghanasushira), soldering (samyuhya), amalgamation (avalepya), 
enclosing (samghdtya), and gilding (ydsitakam) are the various 
kinds of artisan work (kdrukasma). 

False balances (tuldvishama), removal (apasdrana), dropping 
(visrdvana), folding (petaka), and confounding (pinka) are the 
several means employed by goldsmiths to deceive the public. 

False balance are — that of bending arms (sanndmini); that of 
high helm or pivot (utkarnika); that of broken head 
(bhinnamastaka); that of hollow neck (upakanthi); that of bad 
strings (kusikya); that of bad cups or pans (sakatukakshya); that 
which is crooked or shaking (pdrivellya); and that which is 
combined with a magnet (ayaskdnta). 

124 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When, by what is called Triputaka which consists of two parts 
of silver and one part of copper, an equal portion of pure alluvial 
gold is replaced, that deceitful act is termed copper-removal 
(triputakd-vasdritam); when, by copper, an equal portion of gold is 
replaced, that act is termed copper-removal (sulbdvasdritam); 
when by vellakaan equal portion of gold is replaced, it is termed 
vellaka-removal; and when pure alluvial gold is replaced by that 
gold half of which is mixed with copper, it is termed gold removal 
(hemdvasdritam) . 

A crucible with a base metallic piece hidden in it; metallic 
excrement; pincers; a pair of tongs; metallic pieces (jongani); and 
borax (sauvarchikdlavanam), — these are the several things which 
are made use of by goldsmiths in stealing gold. 

When, intentionally causing the crucible (containing the 
bullion) to burst, a few sandlike particles of the metal are picked up 
along with other particles of a base metal previously put therein, 
and the whole is wrought into a mass for the intended coin or 
ornament), this act is termed dropping (visravana); or when 
examining the folded or inlaid leaves of an ornament 
(dchitakapatraparikshdydm) deception is perpetrated by 
substituting silver for gold, or when particles of a base metal are 
substituted for those of gold, it is termed dropping {visravana) 
likewise. 

Folding (petaka) either firm (gddha) or loose 
(abhyuddhdrya) is practiced in soldering, in preparing amalgams, 
and in enclosing (a piece of base metal with two pieces of a 
superior metal). 

When a lead piece (sisarupa— lead coin) is firmly covered 
over with gold leaf by means of wax (ashtaka), that act is termed 
gddhapetaka, firm folding; and when the same is loosely folded, it 
is termed loose folding. 

125 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



In amalgams, a single or double layer (of a superior metal) is 
made to cover a piece (of base metal). Copper or silver may also be 
placed between two leaves (of a superior metal). A copper piece 
(sulbarupya) may be covered over with gold leaf, the surface and 
the edges being smoothened; similarly a piece of any base metal 
may be covered over with double leaf of copper or silver, the 
surface and the edges being smoothened. 

The two forms of folding may be detected by heating, by 
testing on touch-stone (nikasha) or by observing absence of sound 
when it is rubbed (nissabdollekhana). 

(They) find out loose folding in the acid juice of badardmla 
(Flacourtia Cataphracta or jujube fruit) or in salt water; — so much 
for folding (petaka). 

In a compact and hollow piece (ghana-sushire rupe), small 
particles of gold-like mud (suvarnamrinvdlukdh) or bit of 
vermilion (hingulakalkah) are so heated as to make them firmly 
adhere to the piece inside. Even in a compact piece (dridhavdstuke 
rupe), the waxlike mud of Gdndhdra mixed with the particles of 
goldlike sand is so heated as to adhere to the piece. These two kinds 
of impurities are got rid of by hammering the pieces when red hot. 

In an ornament or a coin (sapari-bhdnde vd rupe) salt mixed 
with hard sand (katusarkard) is so heated in flame as to make it 
firmly adhere to (the ornament or coin). This (salt and sand) can be 
got rid of by boiling (kvdthana). 

In some pieces, mica may be firmly fixed inside by wax and 
covered over with a double leaf (of gold or silver). When such a 
piece with mica or glass inside is suspended in water (udake) one 
of its sides dips more than the other; or when pierced by a pin, the 
pin goes very easily in the layers of mica in the interior 

126 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(pataldntareshu) . 

Spurious stones and counterfeit gold and silver may be 
substituted for real ones in compact and hollow pieces 
(ghanasushira). They are detected by hammering the pieces when 
red hot— so much for confounding (pinka). 

Hence (the state goldsmith) shall have a thorough knowledge 
of the species, characteristics, colour, weight, and formation 
(pudgala-lakshana) of diamonds, precious stones (mani), pearls, 
corals and coins (rupa). 

There are four ways of deception perpetrated when examining 
new pieces or repairing old ones: they are hammering, cutting, 
scratching and rubbing. 

When, under the excuse of detecting the deception known as 
folding (petaka) in hollow pieces or in threads or in cups (made of 
gold or silver), the articles in question are hammered, that act is 
termed hammering. 

When a lead piece (covered over with gold or silver leaf) is 
substituted for a real one and its interior is cut off, it is termed 
cutting (avachchhedanam). 

When compact pieces are scratched by tikshna (copper 
sulphate ?), that act is termed scratching (ullekhana). 

When, by a piece of cloth painted with the powder of 
sulphuret of arsenic (haritdla), red arsenic (manassila), or 
vermilion or with the powder of kuruvinda (black salt ?), gold or 
silver articles are rubbed, that act is termed rubbing. 

By these acts, gold and silver articles (bhdnddni) undergo 

127 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



diminution; but no other kind of injury is done to them. 

In all those pieces which are hammered, cut, scratched, or 
rubbed the loss can be inferred by comparing them with intact 
pieces of similar description. In amalgamated pieces (avalepya) 
which are cut off, the loss can be ascertained by cutting off an equal 
portion of a similar piece. Those pieces the appearance of which 
has changed shall be often heated and drenched in water. 

(The state goldsmith) shall infer deception (kdcham vidydt) 
when [the artisan preparing articles pays undue attention to] 
throwing away, counter-weight, fire, anvil (gandika), working 
instruments (bhandika), the seat (adhikarani), the assaying 
balance, folds of dress (chellachollakam), his head, his thigh, flies, 
eagerness to look at his own body, the water-pot, and the firepot. 

Regarding silver, bad smell like that of rotten meat, hardness 
due to any alloy (mala), projection (prastina), and bad colour may 
be considered as indicating adulteration. 

Thus articles (of gold and silver) new or old, or of bad or 
unusual colour are to be examined and adequate fines as described 
above shall be imposed. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIV, "The Duties of the State Goldsmith in the 
High Road" in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of thirty-fifth 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XV. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF 
STOREHOUSE. 



128 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



THE superintendent of storehouse (Koshthdgdra) shall 
supervise the accounts of agricultural produce (sita); taxes coming 
under Rdshtra, country-parts; commerce (krayima); barter 
(parivartna); begging for grains (prdmityaka); grains borrowed 
with promise to repay (dpamityaka); manufacture of rice, oils, etc. 
(simhanika); accidental revenue (anyajdta); statements to check 
expenditure (vyayapratyaya); and recovery of past arrears 
(upasthdnam). 

Whatever in the shape of agricultural produce is brought in by 
the superintendent of agriculture, (of crown-lands) is termed sitd. 

The taxes that are fixed (pindakara), taxes that are paid in the 
form of one- sixth of produce (shadbhdga), provision paid (by the 
people) for the army (sendbhakta), taxes that are levied for 
religious purposes (ball), taxes or subsidies that are paid by vassal 
kings and others (kara), taxes that are specially collected on the 
occasion of the birth of a prince (utsanga), taxes that are collected 
when there is some margin left for such collection (pdrsva), 
compensation levied in the shape of grains for any damage done by 
cattle to crops (pdrihinaka), presentation made to the king, 
(aupdyanika), and taxes that are levied on lands below tanks, lakes, 
etc., built by the king (Kaushtheyaka),— all these come under the 
head 'Rdshtra.' 

Sale proceeds of grains, grains purchased and the collection 
of interest in kind or grain debts (prayogapratydddna) are termed 
commerce. 

Profitable exchange of grains for grains is termed barter 
(parivarthana). 

Grains collected by begging is termed prdmityaka. 

129 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Grains borrowed with promise to repay the same is termed 
dpamityaka. 

Pounding (rice, etc.), dividing (pulses, etc.), frying (corns and 
beans), manufacture of beverages (suktakarma), manufacture of 
flour by employing those persons who live upon such works, 
extracting oil by employing shepherds and oil-makers, and 
manufacture of sugar from the juice of sugar-cane are termed 
simhanika. 

Whatever is lost and forgotten (by others) and the like form 
accidental revenue (anyajdta). 

Investment, the relic of a wrecked undertaking, and savings 
from an estimated outlay are the means to check expenditure 
(yyayapratyaya) . 

That amount or quantity of compensation which is claimed 
for making use of a different balance or for any error in taking a 
handful is termed vydji. 

Collection of arrears is termed 'upasthdna,' 'recovery of 
past arrears.' 

Of grains, oils, sugar, and salt, all that concerns grains will be 
treated of in connection with the duties of the 'Superintendent of 
Agriculture.' 

Clarified butter, oil, serum of flesh, and pith or sap (of plants, 
etc.)., are termed oils (sneha). 

Decoction (phdnita), jaggory, granulated sugar, and 
sugar-candy are termed kshdra. 

Saindhava, that which is the product of the country of Sindhu; 

130 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Sdmudra, that which is produced from seawater; Bida; 
Yavakshara, nitre, Sauvarchala, that which is the product of the 
country of suvarchala; and udbhedaja, that which is extracted from 
saline soil are termed lavana, salt. 

The honey of the bee as well as the juice extracted from 
grapes are called madhu. 

Mixture made by combining any one of the substances, such 
as the juice of sugarcane, jaggory, honey,, the, juice of grapes, the 
essence of the fruits of jambu (Euginia Jambolana) and of jaka 
tree — with the essence of meshasringa (a kind of plant) and long 
pepper, with or without the addition of the essence of chirbhita (a 
kind of gourd), cucumber, sugar-cane, mango-fruit and the fruit of 
myrobalam, the mixture being prepared so as to last for a month, or 
six months, or a year, constitute the group of astringents 
(sukta-varga). 

The fruits of those trees which bear acid fruits, those of 
karamarda (Carissa Carandas), those of vidaldmalka 
(myrobalam), those of matulanga (citron tree), those of kola (small 
jujuba), those of badara (Flacourtia Cataphracta), those of 
sauvira (big jujuba), and those of parushaka (Grewia Asiatica) and 
the like come under the group of acid fruits. 

Curds, acid prepared from grains and the like are acids in 
liquid form. 

Long pepper, black pepper, ginger, cumin seed, kiratatikta 
(Agathotes Chirayta), white mustard, coriander, choraka (a plant), 
damanaka (Artemisia Indica), maruvaka (Vangueria Spinosa), 
sigru (Hyperanthera Moringa), and the like together with their 
roots (kdnda) come under the group of pungent substances 
(tiktavarga). 

131 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Dried fish, bulbous roots (kdndamula), fruits and vegetables 
form the group of edibles (sakavarga). 

Of the store, thus, collected, half shall be kept in reserve to 
ward off the calamities of the people and only the other half shall 
be used. Old collection shall be replaced by new supply. 

The superintendent shall also personally supervise the 
increase or diminution sustained in grains when they are pounded 
(kshunna), or frayed (ghrishta), or reduced to flour (pishta), or 
fried (bhrashta), or dried after soaking in water. 

The essential part (sdra, i.e., that which is fit for food) of 
kodrava (Paspalam Scrobiculatum) and of vrihi (rice) is one-half; 
that of sdli (a kind of rice) is (half) less by one-eighth part; that of 
varaka (Phraseolus Trilobus) is (half) less by one-third part; that of 
priyangu (panic seed or millet) is one-half ; that of chamasi 
(barley), of mudga (Phraseolus Mungo) and of masha (Phraseolus 
Radiatus) is (half) less by one-eighth part; that of saibya (simbi) is 
one-half; that of masura (Ervum Hirsutum) is (half) less by 
one-third part (than the raw material or grains from which it is 
prepared). 

Raw flour and kulmasha (boiled and forced rice) will be as 
much as one and a half of the original quantity of the grains. 

Barley gruel as well as its flour baked will be twice the 
original quantity. 

Kodrava (Paspalam Scrobiculatum), varaka (Phraseolus 
Trilobus), uddraka (Panicum), and priyangu (millet) will increase 
three times the original quantity when cooked. Vrihi (rice) will 
increase four times when cooked. Sdli (a kind of rice) will increase 
five times when cooked. 

132 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Grains will increase twice the original quantity when 
moistened; and two and a half times when soaked to sprouting 
condition. 

Grains fried will increase by one-fifth the original quantity; 
leguminous seeds (kaldya), when fried, will increase twice the 
original; likewise rice when fried. 

Oil extracted from atasi (linseed) will be one-sixth (of the 
quantity of the seed); that extracted from the seeds, nimba 
(Azadirachta Indica), kusdmra (?), and Kapittha (Feronia 
Elephantum) will be one-fifth; and that extracted from tila 
(seasumum), kusumba (a sort of kidney bean), madhiika (Bassia 
Latifolia), and ingudi (Terminalia Catappa) will be one-fourth. 

Five palas of kdrpdsa (cotton) and of kshauma (flax) will 
yield one pala of threads. 

Rice prepared in such a way that five drona of sdli yield ten 
ddhakas of rice will be fit to be the food of young elephants; eleven 
ddhakas from five dronas for elephants of bad temper (vydla); ten 
ddhakas from the same quantity for elephants trained for riding; 
nine ddhakas from the same quantity for elephants used in war; 
eight ddhakas from the same for infantry; eleven ddhakas from the 
same for chiefs of the army; six ddhakas from the same for queens 
and princes and five ddhakas from the same quantity for kings. 

One prastha of rice, pure and unsplit, one-fourth prastha of 
supa, and clarified butter or oil equal to one-fourth part of (supa) 
will suffice to form one meal of an Arya. 

One-sixth prastha of supa for a man; and half the above 
quantity of oil will form one meal for low castes (avara). 

133 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The same rations less by one-fourth the above quantities will 
form one meal for a woman; and half the above rations for 
children. 

For dressing twenty palas of flesh, half a kutumba of oil, one 
pala of salt, one pala of sugar (kshdra), two dharanas of pungent 
substances (katuka, spices), and half a prastha of curd (will be 
necessary). 

For dressing greater quantities of flesh, the same ingredients 
can be proportionally increased. 

For cooking sdkas (dried fish and vegetables), the above 
substances are to be added one and a half times as much. 

For dressing dried fish, the above ingredients are to be added 
twice as much. 

Measures of rations for elephants and horses will be described 

in connection with the "Duties of Their Respective 

Superintendents. " 

For bullocks, one drona of masha (Phraseolus Radiatus) or 
one drona of barley cooked with other things, as prescribed for 
horses, is the requisite quantity of food, besides the special and 
additional provision of one tula of oilcakes (ghdnapinyaka) or ten 
ddhakas of bran (kanakuttana-kundaka). 

Twice the above quantity for buffaloes and camels. 

Half a drona for asses, red spotted deer and deer with white 
stripes. 

134 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



One ddhaka for an antelope and big red deer. 
Half an ddhaka or one ddhaka of grain together with bran for 
a goat, a ram and a 

boar. 

One prastha of cooked rice for dogs. 

Half aprastha for a hamsa (goose), a krauncha (heron) and a 

peacock. 

From the above, the quantity of rations enough for one meal 
for other beasts, cattle, birds, and rogue elephants (vydla) may be 
inferred. 

Charcoal and chaff may be given over for iron smelting and 
lime-kiln (bhittilepya). 

Bran and flour (kdnika) may be given to slaves, labourers, and 
cooks. The surplus of the above may be given to those who prepare 
cooked rice, and rice-cakes. 

The weighing balance, weights, measures, mill-stone 
(rochani), pestle, mortar, wooden contrivances for pounding rice, 
etc., (kuttakay antra), contrivances for splitting seeds into pieces 
(rochakay antra), winnowing fans, sieves (chdlani) grain-baskets 
(kandoli), boxes, and brooms are the necessary instruments. 

Sweepers; preservers; those who weigh things (dharaka); 
those who measure grains, etc.; those who supervise the work of 
measuring grains (mdpaka); those who supervise the supply of 

135 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



commodities to the store-house (ddpaka); those who supply 
commodities (ddyaka); those who are employed to receive 
compensation for any real or supposed error in measuring grains, 
etc. (sdldkdipratigrdhaka); slaves; and labourers; — all these are 
called vishti. 

Grains are heaped up on the floor; jaggory (kshdra) is bound 
round in grass-rope (miita); oils are kept in earthenware or wooden 
vessels; and salt is heaped up on the surface of the ground. 

[Thus ends Chapter XV, "The Superintendent of Storehouse," in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the thirty- sixth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVI. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF 
COMMERCE. 

THE Superintendent of Commerce shall ascertain demand or 
absence of demand for, and rise or fall in the price of, various kinds 
of merchandise which may be the products either of land or of 
water and which may have been brought in either by land or by 
water path. He shall also ascertain the time suitable for their 
distribution, centralisation, purchase, and sale. 

That merchandise which is widely distributed shall be 
centralised and its price enhanced. When the enhanced rate 
becomes popular, another rate shall be declared. 

That merchandise of the king which is of local manufacture 
shall be centralised; imported merchandise shall be distributed in 

136 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



several markets for sale. Both kinds of merchandise shall be 
favourably sold to the people. 

He shall avoid such large profits as will harm the people. 
There shall be no restriction to the time of sale of those 
commodities for which there is frequent demand; nor shall they be 
subject to the evils of centralisation (sankuladosha). 

Or pedlars may sell the merchandise of the king at a fixed 
price in many markets and pay necessary compensation 
(vaidharana) proportional to the loss entailed upon it 
(chheddnurupam) . 

The amount of vydji due on commodities sold by cubical 
measure is one- sixteenth of the quantity (shodasabhdgo 
mdnavydji); that on commodities sold by weighing balance is 
one-twentieth of the quantity; and that on commodities sold in 
numbers is one-eleventh of the whole. 

The superintendent shall show favour to those who import 
foreign merchandise: mariners (ndvika) and merchants who import 
foreign merchandise shall be favoured with remission of the 
trade-taxes, so that they may derive some profit (dyatikshamam 
parihdram dadydt). 

Foreigners importing merchandise shall be exempted from 
being sued for debts unless they are (local) associations and 
partners 
(anabhiyogaschdrthesshvdgantundmanyatassabhyopakdri bhyah) . 

Those who sell the merchandise of the king shall invariably 
put their sale proceeds in a wooden box kept in a fixed place and 
provided with a single aperture on the top. 



137 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



During the eighth part of the day, they shall submit to the 
superintendent the sale report, saying "this much has been sold and 
this much remains;" they shall also hand over the weights and 
measures. Such are the rules applicable to local traffic. 

As regards the sale of the king's merchandise in foreign 
countries:— 

Having ascertained the value of local produce as compared 
with that of foreign produce that can be obtained in barter, the 
superintendent will find out (by calculation) whether there is any 
margin left for profit after meeting the payments (to the foreign 
king) such as the toll (sulka), road-cess (vartani), conveyance-cess 
(dtivdhika), tax payable at military stations (gulmadeya), 
ferry-charges (taradeya), subsistence to the merchant and his 
followers (bhakta), and the portion of merchandise payable to the 
foreign king (bhdga). 

If no profit can be realised by selling the local produce in 
foreign countries, he has to consider whether any local produce can 
be profitably bartered for any foreign produce. Then he may send 
one quarter of his valuable merchandise through safe roads to 
different markets on land. In view of large profits, he (the deputed 
merchant) may make friendship with the forest-guards, 
boundary-guards, and officers in charge of cities and of 
country-parts (of the foreign king). He shall take care to secure his 
treasure {sard) and life from danger. If he cannot reach the 
intended market, he may sell the merchandise (at any market) free 
from all dues (sarvadeyavisuddham). 

Or he may take his merchandise to other countries through 
rivers (nadipatha). 

He shall also gather information as to conveyance-charges 
(ydnabhdgaka), subsistence on the way (pathyadana), value of 

138 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



foreign merchandise that can be obtained in barter for local 
merchandise, occasions of pilgrimages (ydtrakdla), means that can 
be employed to ward off dangers (of the journey), and the history 
of commercial towns (panyapattanachdritra). 

Having gathered information as to the transaction in 
commercial towns along the banks of rivers, he shall transport his 
merchandise to profitable markets and avoid unprofitable ones. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVI, "The Superintendent of Commerce" in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of thirty- seventh chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVII. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FOREST 
PRODUCE. 

THE Superintendent of Forest Produce shall collect timber 
and other products of forests by employing those who guard 
productive forests. He shall not only start productive works in 
forests, but also fix adequate fines and compensations to be levied 
from those who cause any damage to productive forests except in 
calamities. 

The following are forest products. 

Sdka (teak), tinisa (Dalbergia Ougeinensis), dhanvana (?), 
arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna), madhuka (Bassia Latifolia), tilaka 
(Barleria Cristata), tola (palmyra), simsiipa (Dalbergia Sissu), 
arimeda (Fetid Mimosa), rdjddana (Mimosops Kauki), sirisha 
(Mimosa Sirisha), khadira (Mimosa Catechu), sarala (Pinus 

139 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Longifolia), tdlasarja {sal tree or Shorea Robesta), asvakarna 
(Vatica Robesta), somavalka (a kind of white khadira), kasdmra 
(?.),priyaka (yellow sal tree), dhava (Mimosa Hexandra), etc., are 
the trees of strong timber (sdraddruvarga). 

Utaja, Chimiya, Chava, Venu, Vamsa, Sdtina, Kantaka, and 
Bhdlluka, etc., form the group of bamboo. 

Vetra (cane), sokavalli, vdsi (Justicia Ganderussa ?), 
sydmalatd (Ichnocarpus), ndgalata (betel), etc., form the group of 
creepers. 

Mdlati (Jasminum Grandiflorum), durvd (panic grass), arka 
(Calotropis Gigantea), sana (hemp), gavedhuka (Coix Barbata), 
atasi (Linum Usitatis simum), etc., form the group of fibrous plants 
(valkavarga). 

Munja (Saccharum Munja), balbaja (Eleusine Indica), etc., 

are plants which yield rope-making material (rajjubhdnda). 

Tali (Corypha Taliera), tdla (palmyra or Borassus 

Flabelliformis), and bhurja (birch) yield leaves (patram). 

Kimsuka (Butea Frondosa), kusumbha (Carthamus 

Tinctorius), and kumkuma (Crocus Sativus) yield flowers. 

Bulbous roots and fruits are the group of medicines. 

Kdlakuta, Vatsandbha, Hdldhala, Meshasringa, Mustd, 
(Cyperus Rotundus), kushtha, mahdvisha, vellitaka, gaurdrdra, 
bdlaka, mdrkata, haimavata, kdlingaka, daradaka, kolasdraka, 
ushtraka, etc., are poisons. 

Likewise snakes and worms kept in pots are the group of 

140 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



poisons. 

Skins are those of godha (alligator), seraka (?), dvipi 
(leopard), simsumdra (porpoise), simha (lion), vydghra (tiger), 
hasti, (elephant.), mahisha (buffalo), chamara (bos grunniens), 
gomriga (bos gavaeus), and gavaya (the gayal). 

Bones, bile (pittha), sndyu (?), teeth, horn, hoofs, and tails of 
the above animals as well as of other beasts, cattle, birds and 
snakes (yydla). 

Kdldyasa (iron), tdmra (copper), vritta (?), kdmsya (bronze), 
sisa (lead), trapu (tin), 

vaikrintaka (mercury ?), and drakuata (brass), are metals. 

Utensils (bhanda), are those made of cane, bark (vidala), and 
clay (mrittikd). 

Charcoal, bran, and ashes are other things. 

Menageries of beasts, cattle, and birds. 

Collection of firewood and fodder. 

The superintendent of forest produce shall carry on either 
inside or outside (the 

capital city) the manufacture of all kinds of articles which are 

141 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



necessary for life or for the 

defence of forts. [Thus ends Chapter XVII, "The Superintendent of 
Forest Produce" in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of chapter 
thirty-eighth from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVIII. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE 

ARMOURY. 

THE Superintendent of the Armoury shall employ 
experienced workmen of tried ability to manufacture in a given 
time and for fixed wages wheels, weapons, mail armour, and other 
accessory instruments for use in battles, in the construction or 
defence of forts, or in destroying the cities or strongholds of 
enemies. 

All these weapons and instruments shall be kept in places 
suitably prepared for them. They shall not only be frequently 
dusted and transferred from one place to another, but also be 
exposed to the sun. Such weapons as are likely to be affected by 
heat and vapour (ushmopasneha) and to be eaten by worms shall be 
kept in safe localities. They shall also be examined now and then 
with reference to the class to which they belong, their forms, their 
characteristics, their size, their source, their value, and their total 
quantity. 

Sarvatobhadra, jamadagnya, bahumukha, visvdsaghdti, 
samghdti, ydnaka, parjanyaka, ardhabdhu, and urdhvabdhu are 
immoveable machines (sthirayantrdm). 



142 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Pdnchdlika, devadanda, siikarika, musala, yashti, 
hastivdraka, tdlavrinta, mudgara, gada, spriktala, kudddla, 
dsphdtima, audhghdtima, sataghni, trisula, and chakra are 
moveable machines. 

Sakti, prdsa, kunta, hdtaka, bhindivdla, sula, tomara, 
vardhakarna, kanaya, karpana, trdsika, and the like are weapons 
with edges like a ploughshare (halamukhdni). 

Bows made of tdla (palmyra), of chdpa (a kind of bamboo), 
of ddru (a kind of wood), and sringa (bone or horn) are 
respectively called kdrmuka, kodanda, druna, and dhanus. 

Bow-strings are made of murva (Sansviera Roxburghiana), 
arka (Catotropis Gigantea), sdna (hemp), gavedhu (Coix Barbata), 
venu (bamboo bark), and sndyu (sinew). 

Venu, sara, saldka, danddsana, and ndrdcha are different 
kinds of arrows. The edges of arrows shall be so made of iron, bone 
or wood as to cut, rend or pierce. 

Nistrimsa, mandaldgra, and asiyashti are swords. The 
handles of swords are made of the horn of rhinoceros, buffalo, of 
the tusk of elephants, of wood, or of the root of bamboo. 

Parasu, kuthdra, pattasa, khanitra, kudddla, chakra, and 
kdndachchhedana are razor- like weapons. 

Yantrapdshdna, goshpanapdshdna, mushtipdshdna, rochani 
(mill- stone), and stones are other weapons (dyudhdni). 

Lohajdlikd, patta, kavacha, and sutraka are varieties of 
armour made of iron or of skins with hoofs and horns of porpoise, 
rhinoceros, bison, elephant or cow. 

143 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Likewise sirastrdna (cover for the head), kanthatrdna (cover 
for the neck) kurpdsa (cover for the trunk), kanchuka (a coat 
extending as far as the knee joints), vdravdna (a coat extending as 
far as the heels), patta, (a coat without cover for the arms), and 
ndgodarikd (gloves) are varieties of armour. 

Veti, charma, hastikarna, tdlamula, dharmanika, kavdta, 
kitika, apratihata, and valdhakdnta are instruments used in 
self-defence (dvarandni). 

Ornaments for elephants, chariots, and horses as well as 
goads and hooks to lead them in battle-fields constitute accessory 
things (upakarandni). 

(Besides the above) such other delusive and destructive 
contrivances (as are treated of in Book XIV) together with any 
other new inventions of expert workmen (shall also be kept in 
stock.) 

The Superintendent of Armoury shall precisely ascertain the 
demand and supply of weapons, their application, their wear and 
tear, as well as their decay and loss. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVIII, "The Superintendent of the Armoury" 
in Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of thirty-ninth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIX. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF WEIGHTS 
AND MEASURES. 



144 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



THE Superintendent of Weights and Measures shall have the same 

manufactured. 

10 seeds of mdsha (Phraseolus Radiatus) or 

5 „ gunja (Cabrus Precatorius) = 1 suvarna-mdsha. 16 
mdshas = 1 suvarna or karsha. 4 karshas = 1 pala. 88 white 
mustard seeds = 1 silwer-mdsha. 16 silver mashas or 20 saibya 
seeds = 1 dharana. 20 grains of rice = 1 dharana of a diamond. 

Ardha-mdsha (half a mdsha), one mdsha, two mdshas, four 
mdshas, eight mdshas, one suvarna, two suvarnas, four suvarnas, 
eight suvarnas, ten suvarnas, twenty suvarnas, thirty suvarnas, 
forty suvarnas and one hundred suvarnas are different units of 
weights. 

Similar series of weights shall also be made in dharanas. 

Weights (pratimdndni) shall be made of iron or of stones 
available in the countries of Magadha and Mekala; or of such 
things as will neither contract when wetted, nor expand under the 
influence of heat. 

Beginning with a lever of six angulas in length and of one 
pala in the weight of its metallic mass, there shall be made ten 
(different) balances with levers successively increasing by one 
pala in the weight of their metallic masses, and by eight angulas in 
their length. A scale -pan shall be attached to each of them on one or 
both sides. 

A balance called samavrittd, with its lever 72-angulas long 
and weighing 53 palas in its metallic mass shall also be made. A 
scalepan of 5 palas in the weight of its metallic mass being 
attached to its edge, the horizontal position of the lever 
(samakarana) when weighing a karsha shall be marked (on that 

145 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



part of the lever where, held by a thread, it stands horizontal). To 
the left of that mark, symbols such as 1 pala, 12, 15 and 20 palas 
shall be marked. After that, each place of tens up to 100 shall be 
marked. In the place of Akshas, the sign of Ndndi shall be marked. 

Likewise a balance called parimdni of twice as much metallic 
mass as that of samavrittd and of 96 angulas in length shall be 
made. On its lever, marks such as 20, 50 and 100 above its initial 
weight of 100 shall be carved. 

20 tulas == 1 bhdra. 

10 dharanas == 1 pala. 

100 such palas == 1 dyamdni (measure of roy 

Public balance (vydvahdrikd), servants' balance (bhdjinf), and hare 

(antahpurabhdjini) successively decrease by five 
palas (compared with dyamdni). A pala in 
each of the above successively falls short of 
the same in dyamdni by half a dharana. The 
metallic mass of the levers of each of the 
above successively decreases in weight by 
two ordinary palas and in length by six 
angulas. Excepting flesh, metals, salt, and 
precious stones, an excess of five palas 
(praydma) of all other commodities (shall 
be given to the king ) when they are 
weighed in the two first-named balances. A 

146 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



wooden balance with a lever 8 hands long, 
with measuring marks and 

counterpoise weights shall be erected on a pedestal like that of a 
peacock. Twenty-five palas of firewood will cook one 
prastha of rice. This is the unit (for the calculation) of any 
greater or less quantity (of firewood). Thus weighing balance 
and weights are commented upon. Then, 

1 drona which is an dyamdna, a measure of royal 

200 palas in the grains of 
mdsha 187V2 ,, 1 

income. 

public drona. 

175 ,, 1 bhdjaniya, servants' measure 162Vi ,, 1 

antahpurabhdjaniya, harem measure. 

Adhaka, prastha, and kudumba, are each l A of the one previously 

mentioned. 

16 dronas == 1 van. 20 ,, == 1 
kumbha. 10 kumbhas == 1 vaha. 

Cubic measures shall be so made of dry and strong wood that 
when filled with grains, the conically heaped-up portion of the 

147 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



grains standing on the mouth of the measure is equal to l Ath of the 
quantity of the grains (so measured); or the measures may also be 
so made that a quantity equal to the heaped-up portion can be 
contained within (the measure). 

But liquids shall always be measured level to the mouth of 
the measure. 

With regard to wine, flowers, fruits, bran, charcoal and 
slaked lime, twice the quantity of the heaped-up portion (i.e., l Ath 
of the measure) shall be given in excess. 

V-A panas is the 

a drona. 

price of 

3 A pana ,, an ddhaka. 
6 mdshas „ aprastha. 
1 mas ha ,, a kudumba. 



The price of similar liquid-measures is double the above. 

20 panas is the 

a set of counter- weights, 
price of 6 2 A panas „ of a tula (balance). 

The Superintendent shall charge 4 mdshas for stamping 
weights or measures. A fine of 21 l A panas shall be imposed for 
using unstamped weights or measures. 

Traders shall every day pay one kdkani to the Superintendent 
towards the charge of stamping the weights and measures. 



148 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Those who trade in clarified butter, shall give, (to purchasers) 
1/32 part more as taptavydji (i.e., compensation for decrease in the 
quantity of ghi owing to its liquid condition). Those who trade in 
oil shall give 1/64 part more as taptavydji. 

(While selling liquids, traders) shall give 1/50 part more as 
mdnasrdva (i.e., compensation for diminution in the quantity 
owing to its overflow or adhesion to the measuring can). 

Half, one-fourth, and one-eighth parts of the measure, 
kumbha, shall also be manufactured. 

84 kudumbas of clarified butter are held 
a wdraka of the same; 

to be equal to 

64 kudumbas of clarified butter are held make one wdraka of oil 
(taila);and l /4 of a wdraka to be equal to is called ghatika, either of 
ghi or of oil. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIX, "Balance, Weights and Measures" in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the fortieth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XX. MEASUREMENT OF SPACE AND TIME. 

THE Superintendent of lineal measure shall possess the 
knowledge of measuring space and time. 



atoms (paramdnavah) are 

1 particle thrown off by the wheel of a chariot. 

149 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



equal to 

8 particles are equal to 1 likshd. 

8 likshds are equal to the middle of a yiika (louse) or a yuka of 

medium size. 

8 yiikas are equal to 1 yava (barley) of middle size. 

1 angula (% of an English inch) 
or the middlemost joint 8 yavas are equal to of the middle finger of 
a man of medium size may be 

taken to be equal to an angula. 4 
angulas are equal to 1 dhanurgraha. 8 angulas are equal to 1 
dhanurmushti. 12 angulas are equal to 1 vitasti, or 1 
chhdydpaurusha. 14 angulas are equal to 1 sama, sola, pariraya, 
or pada. 2 vitastis are equal to 1 aratni or 1 prdjdpatya hasta 2 
vitastis plus 1 dhanurgraha arel hasta used in measuring balances 
and cubic measures, equal to and pasture lands. 2 vitastis plus 1 
dhanurmusti 1 kishku or 1 kamsa. 

1 kishku according to sawyers 
and blacksmiths and used 42 angulas are equal to in measuring the 
grounds for the encampment of the 

army, for forts and palaces. 54 
angulas are equal to 1 hasta used in measuring timber forests. 

84 

1 vydma, used in measuring ropes and the depth of 

angulas are equal to 

digging, in terms of a man's 
height. 4 aratnis are equal to 1 danda, 1 dhanus, 1 ndlika and 1 
paurusha. 108 angulas are equal to 1 garhapatya dhanus (i.e., a 
measure used by carpenters 

called grihapati). This measure 
is used in measuring 

roads and fort-walls. 



150 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The same (108 angulas) are 

1 paurusha, a measure used in building 
sacrificial altars. 



equal to 

6 kamsas or 192 angulas arel danda, used in measuring such lands 

as are gifted to 

equal to Brdhmans. 

10 dandas are equal to 1 rajju. 

2 rajjus are equal to 1 paridesa (square measure). 

3 rajjus are equal to 1 nivartana (square measure). 
The same (3 rajjus) plus 2 

dandas on one side only are 1 bdhu (arm). 

equal to 

1000 dhanus are equal to 1 goruta (sound of a cow). 

4 gorutas are equal to 1 yojana. 



Thus are the lineal and square measures dealt with. 

Then with regard to the measures of time:— 

(The divisions of time are) a truti, lava, nimesha, kdshthd, 
kald, ndlikd, muhurta, forenoon, afternoon, day, night, paksha, 
month, ritu (season), ay ana (solstice); samvatsara (year), and 
yuga. 

2 trutis are 
equal to 1 
lava. 2 
lavas are 
equal to 1 
nimesha. 5 

151 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



nimeshas 
are equal 
to 1 

kdshthd. 
30 

kdshthds 
are equal 
to 1 kald. 

1 ndlikd, or the time during which one 
ddhaka of water passes 40 kalds are equal to out of a pot through an 
aperture of the same diameter as that of a 

wire of 4 angulas in length and made of 4 
mdshas of gold. 2 ndlikas are equal to 1 muhurta. 15 muhurtas are 
equal to 

1 day or 1 night. 

Such a day and night happen in the months of Chaitra and 
Asvayuja. Then after the period of six months it increases or 
diminishes by three muhurtas. 

When the length of shadow is eight paurushas (96 angulas), it 
is 1/1 8th part of the day. 

When it is 6 paurushas (72 angulas), it is l/14th part of the 
day; when 4 paurushas, l/8th part; when 2 paurushas, l/6th part; 
when 1 paurusha, Vith part; when it is 8 angulas, 3/10th part 
(trayodasabhdgah); when 4 angulas, 3/8th part; and when no 
shadow is cast, it is to be considered midday. 

Likewise when the day declines, the same process in reverse 
order shall be observed. 

It is in the month of Ashddha that no shadow is cast in 
midday. After Ashddha, during the six months from Srdvana 

152 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



upwards, the length of shadow successively increases by two 
angulas and during the next six months from Mdgha upwards, it 
successively decreases by two angulas. 

Fifteen days and nights together make up one paksha. That 
paksha during which the moon waxes is white (sukla) and that 
paksha during which the moon wanes is bahula. 

Two pakshas make one month (mdsa). Thirty days and nights 
together make one work-a-month (prakarmamdsah). The same (30 
days and nights) with an additional half a day makes one solar 
month (saura). 

The same (30) less by half a day makes one lunar month 

(chandramdsa). Twenty-seven (days and nights) make a 

sidereal month (nakshatramdsa). Once in thirty-two months 

there comes one malamdsa profane month, i.e., an extra 

month added to lunar year to harmonise it with 
the solar. Once in thirty-five months there 
comes a malamdsa for Asvavdhas. 

Once in forty months there comes a malamdsa for hastivdhas. 
Two months make one ritu (season). Srdvana and 
proshthapada make the rainy season (varshd). Asvayuja and 

153 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Kdrthika make the autumn (sarad). Mdrgasirsha and 
Phausha make the winter (hemanta). Mdgha and Phalguna 
make the dewy season (sisira). Chaitra and Vaisdkha make 
the spring (vasanta). Jyeshthdmuliya and Ashddha make the 
summer (grishma). Seasons from sisira and upwards are the 

summer-solstice (uttardyana), and (those) 

from varshd and upwards are the winter solstice 

(dakshindyana). Two solstices (ay anas) make one year 

(samvatsara). Five years make one yuga. The sun 

carries off (harati) l/60th of a whole day every day and 

thus makes one complete day in every two months 

(ritau). Likewise the moon (falls behind by l/60th of a 
whole day every day and falls behind one day in every two 
months). Thus in the middle of every third year, they (the sun and 
the moon) make one adhimdsa, additional month, first in the 
summer season and second at the end of five years. 

[Thus ends Chapter XX, "Measurement of Space and Time" in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the forty-first chapter from the 
beginning.] 



154 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER XXI. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF TOLLS. 

THE Superintendent of Tolls shall erect near the large gate of 
the city both the tollhouse and its flag facing either the north or the 
south. When merchants with their merchandise arrive at the 
toll-gate, four or five collectors shall take down who the merchants 
are, whence they come, what amount of merchandise they have 
brought and where for the first time the sealmark 
(abhijndnamudrd) has been made (on the merchandise). 

Those whose merchandise has not been stamped with 
sealmark shall pay twice the amount of toll. For counterfeit seal 
they shall pay eight times the toll. If the sealmark is effaced or torn, 
(the merchants in question) shall be compelled to stand in 
ghatikdsthdna. When one kind of seal is used for another or when 
one kind of merchandise has been otherwise named (ndmakrite), 
the merchants shall pay a fine of Wa pands for each load 
(sapddapanikam vahanam ddpayet). 

The merchandise being placed near the flag of the toll-house, 
the merchants shall declare its quantity and price, cry out thrice 
"who will purchase this quantity of merchandise for this amount of 
price," and hand over the same to those who demand it (for that 
price). When purchasers happen to bid for it, the enhanced amount 
of the price together with the toll on the merchandise shall be paid 
into the king's treasury. When under the fear of having to pay a 
heavy toll, the quantity or the price of merchandise is lowered, the 
excess shall be taken by the king or the merchants shall be made to 
pay eight times the toll. The same punishment shall be imposed 
when the price of the merchandise packed in bags is lowered by 
showing an inferior sort as its sample or when valuable 
merchandise is covered over with a layer of an inferior one. 

When under the fear of bidders (enhancing the price), the 

155 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



price of any merchandise is increased beyond its proper value, the 
king shall receive the enhanced amount or twice the amount of toll 
on it. The same punishment or eight times the amount of toll shall 
be imposed on the Superintendent of tolls if he conceals 
(merchandise). 

Hence commodities shall be sold only after they are precisely 
weighed, measured, or numbered. 

With regard to inferior commodities as well as those which 
are to be let off free of toll, the amount of toll due shall be 
determined after careful consideration. 

Those merchants who pass beyond the flag of the toll-house 
without paying the toll shall be fined eight times the amount of the 
toll due from them. 

Those who pass by to and from (the city) shall ascertain 
(whether or not toll has been paid on any merchandise going along 
the road.) 

Commodities intended for marriages, or taken by a bride from 
her parents' house to her husband's (anvdyanam), or intended for 
presentation, or taken for the purpose of sacrificial performance, 
confinement of women, worship of gods, ceremony of tonsure, 
investiture of sacred thread, gift of cows (goddna, made before 
marriage), any religious rite, consecration ceremony (dikshd), and 
other special ceremonials shall be let off free of toll. 

Those who utter a lie shall be punished as thieves. 

Those who smuggle a part of merchandise on which toll has 
not been paid with that on which toll has been paid as well as those 
who, with a view to smuggle with one pass a second portion of 
merchandise, put it along with the stamped merchandise after 

156 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



breaking open the bag shall forfeit the smuggled quantity and pay 
as much fine as is equal to the quantity so smuggled. 

He who, falsely swearing by cowdung, smuggles 
merchandise, shall be punished with the highest amercement. 

When a person imports such forbidden articles as weapons 
(sastra), mail armour, metals, chariots, precious stones, grains and 
cattle, he shall not only be punished as laid down elsewhere, but 
also be made to forfeit his merchandise. When any of such 
commodities has been brought in for sale, they shall be sold, free of 
toll far outside (the fort). 

The officer in charge of boundaries (antapdla) shall receive a 
pana-and-a-quarter as roadcess (yartani) on each load of 
merchandise (panyavahanasya). 

He shall levy a pana on a single-hoofed animal, half a pana 
on each head of cattle, and a quarter on a minor quadruped. 

He shall also receive a mdsha on a head-load of 
merchandise. 

He shall also make good whatever has been lost by merchants 
(in the part of the country under his charge). 

After carefully examining foreign commodities as to their 
superior or inferior quality and stamping them with his seal, he 
shall send the same to the superintendent of tolls. 

Or he may send to the king a spy in the guise of a trader with 
information as to the quantity and quality of the merchandise. 
(Having received this information,) the king shall in turn send it to 
the superintendent of tolls in view of exhibiting the king's 
omniscient power. The superintendent shall tell the merchants (in 

157 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



question) that such and such a merchant has brought such and such 
amount of superior or inferior merchandise, which none can 
possibly hide, and that that information is due to the omniscient 
power of the king. 

For hiding inferior commodities, eight times the amount of 
toll shall be imposed; and for hiding or concealing superior 
commodities, they shall be wholly confiscated. 

Whatever causes harm or is useless to the country shall be 
shut out; and whatever is of immense good as well as seeds not 
easily available shall be let in free of toll. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXI, "The Superintendent of Tolls" in Book 
II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the forty- second chapter from the 
beginning.) 



CHAPTER XXII. REGULATION OF TOLL-DUES. 

MERCHANDISE, external (bdhyam, i.e., arriving from 
country parts), internal (dbhyantaram, i.e., manufactured inside 
forts), or foreign (dtithyani, i.e., imported from foreign countries) 
shall all be liable to the payment of toll alike when exported 
(nishkrdmya) and imported (pravesyam). 

Imported commodities shall pay l/5th of their value as toll. 

Of flower, fruit, vegetables (sdka), roots (inula), bulbous 
roots (kanda), pallikya (?), seeds, dried fish, and dried meat, the 
superintendent shall receive l/6th as toll. 

158 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



As regards conch-shells, diamonds, precious stones, pearls, 
corals, and necklaces, experts acquainted with the time, cost, and 
finish of the production of such articles shall fix the amount of toll. 

Of fibrous garments (kshauma), cotton cloths (dukiila), silk 
(krimitdna), mail armour (kankata), sulphuret of arsenic (haritdla), 
red arsenic (manassild), vermilion (hingulaka), metals (loha), and 
colouring ingredients (varnadhdtu); of sandal, brown sandal 
(agaru), pungents (katuka), ferments (kinva), dress (dvarana), and 
the like; of wine, ivory, skins, raw materials used in making fibrous 
or cotton garments, carpets, curtains (prdvarana), and products 
yielded by worms (krimijdta); and of wool and other products 
yielded by goats and sheep, he shall receive l/10th or l/15th as toll. 
Of cloths (yastra), quadrupeds, bipeds, threads, cotton, 
scents, medicines, wood, bamboo, fibres (valkala), skins, and 
clay-pots; of grains, oils, sugar (kshdra), salt, liquor (madya) 
cooked rice and the like, he shall receive l/20th or l/25th as toll. 

Gate-dues (dvdrddeya) shall be 1/5 th of toll dues; this tax 
may be remitted if circumstances necessitate such favour. 
Commodities shall never be sold where they are grown or 
manufactured. 

When minerals and other commodities are purchased from 
mines, a fine of 600 pands shall be imposed. 

When flower or fruits are purchased from flower or fruit 
gardens, a fine of 54 panas shall be imposed. 

When vegetables, roots, bulbous roots are purchased from 
vegetable gardens, a fine 5 PA panas shall be imposed. 

When any kind of grass or grain is purchased from field, a 
fine of 53 panas shall be imposed. 

159 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(Permanent) fines of 1 pana and Wipanas shall be levied on 
agricultural produce (sitdtyayah). 

Hence in accordance with the customs of countries or of 
communities, the rate of toll shall be fixed on commodities, either 
old or new; and fines shall be fixed in proportion to the gravity of 
offences. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXII, "Regulation of Toll-dues," in Book II, 
"The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the forty-third chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXIII. SUPERINTENDENT OF WEAVING. 

THE Superintendent of Weaving shall employ qualified 
persons to manufacture threads (sutra), coats (varma), cloths 
(vastra), and ropes. 

Widows, cripple women, girls, mendicant or ascetic women 
(pravrajitd), women compelled to work in default of paying fines 
(danddpratikdrini), mothers of prostitutes, old women- servants of 
the king, and prostitutes (devaddsi) who have ceased to attend 
temples on service shall be employed to cut wool, fibre, cotton, 
panicle {tula), hemp, and flax. 

Wages shall be fixed according as the threads spun are fine, 
coarse (sthiila, i.e., big) or of middle quality and in proportion to a 
greater or less quantity manufactured, and in consideration of the 
quantity of thread spun, those (who turn out a greater quantity) 
shall be presented with oil and dried cakes of myrobalan fruits 
(taildmalakodvartanaih). 

160 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



They may also be made to work on holidays (tithishu) by 
payment of special rewards (prativdpaddnamdnaih). 

Wages shall be cut short, if making allowance for the quality 
of raw material, the quantity of the threads spun out is found to fall 
short. 

Weaving may also be done by those artisans who are 
qualified to turn out a given amount of work in a given time and for 
a fixed amount of wages. 

The superintendent shall closely associate with the workmen. 

Those who manufacture fibrous cloths, raiments, silk-cloths, 
woollen cloths, and cotton fabrics shall be rewarded by 
presentations such as scents, garlands of flowers, or any other 
prizes of encouragement. 

Various kinds of garments, blankets, and curtains 
shall be manufactured. 

Those who are acquainted with the work shall 
manufacture mail armour. 

Those women who do not stir out of their houses 
(anishkdsinyah), those whose husbands are gone abroad, and those 
who are cripple or girls may, when obliged to work for subsistence, 
be provided with work (spinning out threads) in due courtesy 
through the medium of maid- servants (of the weaving 
establishment.) 

Those women who can present themselves at the weaving 
house shall at dawn be enabled to exchange their spinnings for 
wages (bhdndavetanavinimayam). Only so much light as is enough 

161 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



to examine the threads shall be kept. If the superintendent looks at 
the face of such women or talks about any other work, he shall be 
punished with the first amercement. Delay in paying the wages 
shall be punished with the middlemost amercement. Likewise 
when wages are paid for work that is not completed. 

She who, having received wages, does not turn out the work 
shall have her thumb cut off. 

Those who misappropriate, steal, or run away with, (the raw 
material supplied to them) shall be similarly punished. 

Weavers, when guilty, shall be fined out of their wages in 
proportion to their offences. 

The superintendent shall closely associate with those who 
manufacture ropes and mail armour and shall carry on the 
manufacture of straps (yaratra) and other commodities. 

He shall carry on the manufacture of ropes from threads and 
fibres and of straps from cane and bamboo bark, with which beasts 
for draught are trained or tethered. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXIII, "The Superintendent of Weaving" in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the forty-fourth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXIV. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF 
AGRICULTURE. 

POSSESSED of the knowledge of the science of agriculture 

162 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



dealing with the plantation of bushes and trees 
(krishitantragulmavrikshshdyurvedajnah), or assisted by those 
who are trained in such sciences, the superintendent of agriculture 
shall in time collect the seeds of all kinds of grains, flowers, fruits, 
vegetables, bulbous roots, roots, pdllikya (?), fibre-producing 
plants, and cotton. 

He shall employ slaves, labourers, and prisoners 
(dandapratikartri) to sow the seeds on crown-lands which have 
been often and satisfactorily ploughed. 

The work of the above men shall not suffer on account of any 
want in ploughs (karshanay antra) and other necessary instruments 
or of bullocks. Nor shall there be any delay in procuring to them the 
assistence of blacksmiths, carpenters, borers (medaka), 
ropemakers, as well as those who catch snakes, and similar 
persons. 

Any loss due to the above persons shall be punished with a 
fine equal to the loss. 

The quantity of rain that falls in the country of jdngala is 16 
dronas; half as much more in moist countries (anupdndm); as to 
the countries which are fit for agriculture (desavdpdnam);—l3V2 
dronas in the country of asmakas; 23 dronas in avanti; and an 
immense quantity in western countries (apardntdndm), the borders 
of the Himalayas, and the countries where water channels are made 
use of in agriculture (kulydvdpdndm). 

When one-third of the requisite quantity of rain falls both 
during the commencement and closing months of the rainy season 
and two-thirds in the middle, then the rainfall is (considered) very 
even (sushumdrupam). 



163 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



A forecast of such rainfall can be made by observing the 
position, motion, and pregnancy (garbhdddna) of the Jupiter 
(Brihaspati), the rise and set and motion of the Venus, and the 
natural or unnatural aspect of the sun. 

From the sun, the sprouting of the seeds can be inferred; from 
(the position of) the Jupiter, the formation of grains (stambakarita) 
can be inferred; and from the movements of the Venus, rainfall can 
be inferred. 

Three are the clouds that continuously rain for seven days; 
eighty are they that pour minute drops; and sixty are they that 
appear with the sunshine— this is termed rainfall. Where rain, free 
from wind and unmingled with sunshine, falls so as to render three 
turns of ploughing possible, there the reaping of good harvest is 
certain. 

Hence, i.e., according as the rainfall is more or less, the 
superintendent shall sow the seeds which require either more or 
less water. 

Sdli (a kind of rice), vrihi (rice), kodrava (Paspalum 
Scrobiculatum), tila (sesamum), priyangu (panic seeds), ddraka 
(?), and varaka (Phraseolus Trilobus) are to be sown at the 
commencement (purvdvdpah) of the rainy season. 

Mudga (Phraseolus Mungo), mdsha (Phraseolus Radiatus), 
and saibya (?) are to be sown in the middle of the season. 

Kusumbha (safflower), masura (Ervum Hirsutum), kuluttha 
(Dolichos Uniflorus), yava (barley), godhuma (wheat), kaldya 
(leguminus seeds), atasi (linseed), and sarshapa (mustard) are to 
be sown last. 

Or seeds may be sown according to the changes of the 

164 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



season. 

Fields that are left unsown (vdpdtiriktam, i.e., owing to the 
inadequacy of hands) may be brought under cultivation by 
employing those who cultivate for half the share in the produce 
(ardhasitikd); or those who live by their own physical exertion 
(svaviryopajivinah) may cultivate such fields for l Ath or l/5th of 
the produce grown; or they may pay (to the king) as much as they 
can without entailing any hardship upon themselves (anavasitam 
bhdgam), with the exception of their own private lands that are 
difficult to cultivate. 

Those who cultivate irrigating by manual labour 
(hastaprdvartimam) shall pay l/5th of the produce as water-rate 
(udakabhdgam); by carrying water on shoulders 
(skandhaprdvartimam) Vith of the produce; by water-lifts 
(srotoyantraprdvartimam), l Axd of the produce; and by raising 
water from rivers, lakes, tanks, and wells 
(nadisarastatdkakupodghdtam), l /3vd or %th of the produce. 

The superintendent shall grow wet crops (keddra), 
winter-crops (haimana), or summer crops (graishmika) according 
to the supply of workmen and water. 

Rice-crops and the like are the best (jydshtha, i.e., to grow); 
vegetables (shanda) are of intermediate nature; and sugarcane 
crops (ikshu) are the worst (pratyavarah, i.e., very difficult to 
grow), for they are subject to various evils and require much care 
and expenditure to reap. 

Lands that are beaten by foam (phendghdtah, i.e., banks of 
rivers, etc.) are suitable for growing valliphala (pumpkin, gourd 
and the like); lands that are frequently overflown by water 
(parivdhdnta) for long pepper, grapes (mridvikd), and sugarcane; 

165 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the vicinity of wells for vegetables and roots; low grounds 
(hariniparyantdh) for green crops; and marginal furrows between 
any two rows of crops are suitable for the plantation of fragrant 
plants, medicinal herbs, cascus roots (usinara), hira (?), beraka (?), 
and pinddluka (lac) and the like. 

Such medicinal herbs as grow in marshy grounds are to be 
grown not only in grounds suitable for them, but also in pots 
(sthalyam). 

The seeds of grains are to be exposed to mist and heat 
(tushdrapdyanamushnam cha) for seven nights; the seeds of kosi 
are treated similarly for three nights; the seeds of sugarcane and the 
like (kdndabijdnam) are plastered at the cut end with the mixture of 
honey, clarified butter, the fat of hogs, and cowdung; the seeds of 
bulbous roots (kanda) with honey and clarified butter; cotton seeds 
(asthibija) with cow-dung; and water pits at the root of trees are to 
be burnt and manured with the bones and dung of cows on proper 
occasions. 

The sprouts of seeds, when grown, are to be manured with a 
fresh haul of minute fishes and irrigated with the milk of snuhi 
(Euphorbia Antiquorum). 

Where there is the smoke caused by burning the essence of 
cotton seeds and the slough of a snake, there snakes will not stay. 

Always while sowing seeds, a handful of seeds bathed in 
water with a piece of gold shall be sown first and the following 
mantra recited:— 



"Prajapatye Kasyapaya devaya 

Sada Sita medhyatam devi bfjeshu 

166 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



dhaneshu cha. Chandavata he." 

"Salutation to God Prajdpati Kasyapa. Agriculture may 
always flourish and the Goddess (may reside) in seeds and wealth. 
Channdavata he." 

Provisions shall be supplied to watchmen, slaves and 
labourers in proportion to the amount of work done by them. 

They shall be paid apana-and-a-quarter per mensem. Artisans 
shall be provided with wages and provision in proportion to the 
amount of work done by them. 

Those that are learned in the Vedas and those that are engaged 
in making penance may take from the fields ripe flowers and fruits 
for the purpose of worshipping their gods, and rice and barley for 
the purpose of performing agrayana, a sacrificial performance at 
the commencement of harvest season, also those who live by 
gleaning grains in fields may gather grains where grains had been 
accumulated and removed from. 

Grains and other crops shall be collected as often as they are 
harvested. No wise man shall leave anything in the fields, nor even 
chaff. Crops, when reaped, shall be heaped up in high piles or in the 
form of turrets. The piles of crops shall not be kept close, nor shall 
their tops be small or low. The threshing floors of different fields 
shall be situated close to each other. Workmen in the fields shall 
always have water but no fire. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXIV, "The Superintendent of Agriculture" in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the forty-fifth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



167 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER XXV. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF LIQUOR. 

BY employing such men as are acquainted with the 
manufacture of liquor and ferments (kinva), the Superintendent of 
Liquor shall carry on liquor-traffic not only in forts and country 
parts, but also in camps. 

In accordance with the requirements of demand and supply 
(krayavikrayavasena) he may either centralize or decentralize the 
sale of liquor. 

A fine of 600 panas shall be imposed on all offenders other 
than those who are manufacturers, purchasers, or sellers in 
liquor- traffic. 

Liquor shall not be taken out of villages, nor shall liquor 
shops be close to each other. 

Lest workmen spoil the work in hand, and Aryas violate their 
decency and virtuous character, and lest firebrands commit 
indiscreet acts, liquor shall be sold to persons of well known 
character in such small quantities as one-fourth or ha\f-a-kudumba, 
one kudumba, ha\f-a-prastha, or one prastha. Those who are well 
known and of pure character may take liquor out of shop. 

Or all may be compelled to drink liquor within the shops and 
not allowed to stir out at once in view of detecting articles such as 
sealed deposits, unsealed deposits, commodities given for repair, 
stolen articles, and the like which the customer's may have 
acquired by foul means. When they are found to possess gold and 
other articles not their own, the superintendent shall contrive to 
cause them to be arrested outside the shop. Likewise those who are 
too extravagant or spend beyond their income shall be arrested. 

168 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



No fresh liquor other than bad liquor shall be sold below its 
price. Bad liquor may be sold elsewhere or given to slaves or 
workmen in lieu of wages; or it may form the drink of beasts for 
draught or the subsistence of hogs. 

Liquor shops shall contain many rooms provided with beds 
and seats kept apart. The drinking room shall contain scents, 
garlands of flowers, water, and other comfortable things suitable to 
the varying seasons. 

Spies stationed in the shops shall ascertain whether the 
expenditure incurred by customers in the shop is ordinary or 
extraordinary and also whether there are any strangers. They shall 
also ascertain the value of the dress, ornaments, and gold of the 
customers lying there under intoxication. 

When customers under intoxication lose any of their things, 
the merchants of the shop shall not only make good the loss, but 
also pay an equivalent fine. 

Merchants seated in half-closed rooms shall observe the 
appearance of local and foreign customers who, in real or false 
guise of Aryas lie down in intoxication along with their beautiful 
mistresses. 

Of various kinds of liquor such as medaka, prasanna, dsava, 
arista, maireya, and madhu:— 

Medaka is manufactured with one drona of water, half, an 
ddaka of rice, and three prastha of kinva (ferment). 

Twelve ddhakas of flour (pishta), five prasthas of kinva 
(ferment), with the addition of spices (jdtisambhdra) together with 
the bark and fruits of putrakd (a species of tree) constitute 
prasanna. 

169 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



One-hundred palas of kapittha (Feronia Elephantum) 500 
palas of phdnita (sugar), and one prastha of honey (madhu) form 
dsava. 

With an increase of one-quarter of the above ingredients, a 
superior kind of dsava is manufactured; and when the same 
ingredients are lessened to the extent of one-quarter each, it 
becomes of an inferior quality. 

The preparation of various kinds of arishta for various 
diseases are to be learnt from physicians. 

A sour gruel or decoction of the bark of meshasringi (a kind 
of poison) mixed with jaggery (guda) and with the powder of long 
pepper and black pepper or with the powder of triphala (1 
Terminalia Chebula, 2 Terminalia Bellerica, and 3 Phyllanthus 
Emblica) forms Maireya. 

To all kinds of liquor mixed with jaggery, the powder of 
triphala is always added. 

The juice of grapes is termed madhu. Its own native place 
(svadesa) is the commentary on such of its various forms as 
kdpisdyana and hdrahuraka. 

One drona of either boiled or unboiled paste of mdsha 
(Phraseolus Radiatus), three parts more of rice, and one karsha of 
morata (Alangium Hexapetalum) and the like form kinva 
(ferment). 

In the manufacture of medaka and prasanna, five karshas of 
the powder of (each of pdthd (Clypea Hermandifolio), lodhra 
(Symplocos Racemosa), tejovati (Piper Chaba), eldvdluka 
(Solanum Melongena) honey, the juice of grapes (madhurasa), 
priyangu (panic seeds), ddruharidra (a species of turmeric) black 

170 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



pepper and long pepper are added as sambhdra, requisite spices. 

The decoction of madhuka (Bassia Latifolia) mixed with 
granulated sugar (katasarkard), when added to prasanna, gives it a 
pleasing colour. 

The requisite quantity of spices to be added to dsava is one 
karshd of the powder of each of chocha (bark of cinnamon), 
chitraka (Plumbago Zeylanica), vilanga, and gajapippali 
(Scindapsus Officinalis), and two karshas of the powder of each of 
kramuka (betel nut), madhuka (Bassia Latifolia), mustd (Cyprus 
Rotundus), and lodhra (Symlocos Racemosa). 

The addition of one-tenth of the above ingredients {i.e., 
chocha, kramuka, etc.), is (termed) bijabandha. 

The same ingredients as are added to prasanna are also added 
to white liquor (svetasurd). 

The liquor that is manufactured from mango fruits 
(sahakdrasurd) may contain a greater proportion of mango essence 
(rasottara), or of spices (bijottara). It is called mahdsura when it 
contains sambhdra (spices as described above). 

When a handful (antarnakho mushtih, i.e., so much as can be 
held in the hand, the fingers being so bent that the nails cannot be 
seen) of the powder of granulated sugar dissolved in the decoction 
of moratd (Alangium Hexapetalum), paldsa (Butea Frondosa), 
dattura (Dattura Fastuosa), karanja (Robinia Mitis), meshasringa 
(a kind of poison) and the bark of milky trees (kshiravriksha) 
mixed with one-half of the paste formed by combining the powders 
of lodhra (Symplocos Racemosa), chitraka (Plumbago Zeylanica), 
vilanga, pdthd (clypea Hermandifolia), mustd (cyprus Rotundus), 
kaldya (leguminous seeds), ddruharidra (Amonum 

171 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Xanthorrhizon), indivara (blue lotus), satapushpa (Anethum 
Sowa), apdmdrga (Achyranthes Aspera) saptaparna (Echites 
Scholaris), and nimba (Nimba Melia) is added to (even) a kumbha 
of liquor payable by the king, it renders it very pleasant. Five palas 
of phdnita (sugar) are added to the above in order to increase its 
flavour. 

On special occasions (krityeshu), people (kutumbinah, i.e., 
families) shall be allowed to manufacture white liquor (svetasura), 
arishta for use in diseases, and other kinds of liquor. 

On the occasions of festivals, fairs (samdja), and pilgrimage, 
right of manufacture of liquor for four days (chaturahassaurikah) 
shall be allowed. 

The Superintendent shall collect the daily fines 
(daivasikamatyayam, i.e., license fees) from those who on these 
occasions are permitted to manufacture liquor. 

Women and children shall collect 'sura,' and 'kinva,' 
'ferment' 

Those who deal with liquor other than that of the king shall 
pay five percent as toll. 

With regard to sura, medaka, arishta, wine, phaldmla (acid 
drinks prepared from fruits), and dmlasidhu (spirit distilled from 
molasses):— 

Having ascertained the day's sale of the above kinds of liquor, 
the difference of royal and public measures (mdnavydji), and the 
excessive amount of sale proceeds realised thereby, the 
Superintendent shall fix the amount of compensation (yaidharana) 
due to the king (from local or foreign merchants for entailing loss 
on the king's liquor traffic) and shall always adopt the best course. 

172 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



[Thus ends Chapter XXV, "The Superintendent of Liquor" in Book 
II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the forty- sixth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXVI. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF 
SLAUGHTER-HOUSE. 

WHEN a person entraps, kills, or molests deer, bison, birds, 
and fish which are declared to be under State protection or which 
live in forests under State -protection (abhaydranya), he shall be 
punished with the highest amercement. 

Householders trespassing in forest preserves shall be 
punished with the middlemost amercement. 

When a person entraps, kills, or molests either fish or birds 
that do not prey upon other animals, he shall be fined 26% panas; 
and when he does the same to deer and other beasts, he shall be 
fined twice as much. 

Of beasts of prey that have been captured, the 
Superintendent shall take one-sixth; of fish and birds (of similar 
nature), he shall take one-tenth or more than one-tenth; and of deer 
and other beasts (mrigapasu), one-tenth or more than one-tenth as 
toll. 

One-sixth of live animals such as birds and beasts shall be let 
off in forests under State-protection. 

Elephants, horses or animals having the form of a man, bull or 

173 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



an ass living in oceans as well as fish in tanks, lakes, channels and 
rivers; and such game-birds as krauncha (a kind of heron), 
utkrosaka (osprey), ddtyiiha (a sort of cuckoo), hamsa (flamingo), 
chakravdka (a brahmany duck), jivanjivaka (a kind of pheasant), 
bhringardja (Lanius Malabaricus), chakora (partridge), 
mattakokila (cuckoo), peacock, parrot, and maina (madanasdrika) 
as well as other auspicious animals, whether birds or beasts, shall 
be protected from all kinds of molestations. 

Those who violate the above rule shall be punished with the first 

amercement. 

(Butchers) shall sell fresh and boneless flesh of beasts 
(mrigapasu) just killed. 

If they sell bony flesh, they shall give an equivalent 
compensation (pratipdkam). 

If there is any diminution in weight owing to the use of a false 
balance, they shall give eight times the diminution. 

Cattle such as a calf, a bull, or a milch cow 
shall not be slaughtered. 

He who slaughters or tortures them to death 
shall be fined 50 panas. 

The flesh of animals which have been killed outside the 
slaughter-house (parisunam), headless, legless and boneless flesh, 
rotten flesh, and the flesh of animals which have suddenly died 
shall not be sold. Otherwise a fine of 12 panas shall be imposed. 

Cattle, wild beasts, elephants (vyala), and fish living in 
forests under State protection shall, if they become of vicious 

174 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



nature, be entrapped and killed outside the forest preserve. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXVI, "The Superintendent of 
Slaughter-house" in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
forty-seventh chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXVII. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF 
PROSTITUTES. 

THE Superintendent of Prostitutes shall employ (at the king's 
court) on a salary of 1,000 panas (per annum) a prostitute (ganikd), 
whether born or not born of a prostitute's family, and noted for her 
beauty, youth, and accomplishments. 

A rival prostitute (pratiganikd) on half the above salary 
(kutumbardhena) shall also be appointed. 

Whenever such a prostitute goes abroad or dies, her daughter 
or sister shall act for her and receive her property and salary. Or her 
mother may substitute another prostitute. In the absence of any of 
these, the king himself shall take the property. 

With a view to add to the splendour of prostitutes holding the 
royal umbrella, golden pitcher, and fan, and attending upon the 
king seated on his royal litter, throne, or chariot, prostitutes shall be 
classified as of first, middle and highest rank according to their 
beauty and splendid jewellery; likewise their salary shall be fixed 
by thousands. 

She who has lost her beauty shall be appointed as a nurse 
(mdtrikd). 

175 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



A prostitute shall pay 24,000 panas as ransom to regain her 
liberty; and a prostitute's son 12,000 panas. 

From the age of eight years, a prostitute shall hold musical 
performance before the king. 

Those prostitutes, female slaves, and old women who are 
incapable of rendering any service in the form of enjoyment 
(bhagnabhogdh) shall work in the storehouse or kitchen of the 
king. 

A prostitute who, putting herself under the protection of a 
private person, ceases to attend the king's court shall pay a 
pana-and-a-quarter per mensem (to the Government). 

The superintendent shall determine the earnings, inheritance, 
income (dyd), expenditure, and future earnings (dyati) of every 
prostitute. 

He shall also check their extravagant expenditure. 

When a prostitute puts her jewellery in the hands of any 
person but her mother, she shall be fined A l A panas. 

If she sells or mortgages her property (svapateyam), she 
shall be fined 50 l A panas. 

A prostitute shall be fined 24 panas for defamation; twice as 
much for causing hurt; and 50V4 panas as well as X¥i panas for 
cutting off the ear (of any person). 

When a man has connection with a prostitute against her will 
or with a prostitute girl (kumdri), he shall be punished with the 
highest amercement. But when he has connection with a willing 

176 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



prostitute, (under age), he shall be punished with the first 
amercement. 

When a man keeps under confinement, or abducts, a 
prostitute against her will, or disfigures her by causing hurt, he 
shall be fined 1,000 panas or more rising up to twice the amount of 
her ransom (nishkraya) according to the circumstances of the crime 
and the position and the status of the prostitute (sthdnaviseshena). 

When a man causes hurt to a prostitute appointed at the court 
(praptddhikdram), he shall be fined thrice the amount of her 
ransom. 

When a man causes hurt to a prostitute's mother, to her young 
daughter, or to a rupaddsi, he shall be punished with the highest 
amercement. 

In all cases of offences, punishment for offences committed 
for the first time shall be the first amercement; twice as much for 
offences committed for a second time; thrice as much for the third 
time; and for offences committed for the fourth time, the king may 
impose any punishment he likes. 

When a prostitute does not yield her person to any one under 
the orders of the king, she shall receive 1000 lashes with a whip or 
pay a fine of 5,000 panas. 

When having received the requisite amount of fees, a 
prostitute dislikes to yield her person, she shall be fined twice the 
amount of the fees. 

When, in her own house, a prostitute deprives her paramour 
of his enjoyment, she shall be fined eight times the amount of the 
fees unless the paramour happens to be unassociable on account of 
disease and personal defects. 

177 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When a prostitute murders her paramour, she shall be burnt 
alive or thrown into water. 

When a paramour steals the jewellery or money of, or 
deceives to pay the fees due to, a prostitute, he shall be fined eight 
times that amount. 

Every prostitute shall supply information to the 
superintendent as to the amount of her daily fees (bhoga), her 
future income (dyati), and the paramour (under her influence). 

The same rules shall apply to an actor, dancer, singer, player 
on musical instruments, a buffoon (vdgjivana), a mimic player 
(kusilava), rope-dancer (plavaka), a juggler (saubhika), a 
wandering bard or herald (chdrana), pimps, and unchaste women. 

When persons of the above description come from foreign 
countries to hold their performances, they shall pay 5 panas as 
license fee (prekshdvetana). 

Every prostitute (rupdjivd) shall pay every month twice the 
amount of a day's earning (bhogadvigunam) to the Government. 

Those who teach prostitutes, female slaves, and actresses, arts 
such as singing, playing on musical instruments, reading, dancing, 
acting, writing, painting, playing on the instruments like vina, pipe, 
and drum, reading the thoughts of others, manufacture of scents 
and garlands, shampooing, and the art of attracting and captivating 
the mind of others shall be endowed with maintenance from the 
State. 

They (the teachers) shall train the sons of prostitutes to be 
chief actors (rangopajivi) on the stage. 

The wives of actors and others of similar profession who have 

178 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



been taught various languages and the use of signals (sanja) shall, 
along with their relatives, be made use of in detecting the wicked 
and murdering or deluding foreign spies. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXVII, "The Superintendent of Prostitutes" in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the forty-eighth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXVIII. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SHIPS. 

THE Superintendent of Ships shall examine the accounts 
relating to navigation not only on oceans and mouths of rivers, but 
also on lakes natural or artificial, and rivers in the vicinity of 
sthdniya and other fortified cities. 

Villages on seashores or on the banks of rivers and lakes 
shall pay a fixed amount of tax (kliptam). 

Fishermen shall give l/6th of their haul as fees for fishing 
license (naukdhdtakam). 

Merchants shall pay the customary toll levied in port-towns. 

Passengers arriving on board the king's ship shall pay the 
requisite amount of sailing fees (ydtrdvetanam). 

Those (who make use of the king's boats in) fishing out 
conch-shells and pearls shall pay the requisite amount of hire 
(Naukdhdtakam), or they may make use of their own boats. 



179 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The duties of the superintendent of mines will explain those 
of the superintendent of conch-shells and pearls. 

The superintendent of ships shall strictly observe the customs 
prevalent in commercial towns as well as the orders of the 
superintendent of towns (pattana, port town). 

Whenever a weatherbeaten ship arrives at a port-town, he 
shall show fatherly kindness to it. 

Vessels carrying on merchandise spoiled by water may either 
be exempted from toll or may have their toll reduced to half and let 
to sail when the time for setting sail approaches. 

Ships that touch at harbours on their way may be requested 
the payment of toll. 

Pirate ships (himsrikd), vessels which are bound for the 
country of an enemy, as well as those which have violated the 
customs and rules in force in port towns shall be destroyed. 

In those large rivers which cannot be forded even during the 
winter and summer seasons, there shall be launched large boats 
(mahdndvah) provided with a captain (sdsaka), a steersman 
(niydmaka), and servants to hold the sickle and the ropes and to 
pour out water. 

Small boats shall be launched in those small rivers which 
overflow during the rainy season. 

Fording or crossing the rivers (without permission) shall be 
prohibited lest traitors may cross them (and escape). 

When a person fords or crosses a river outside the proper 
place and in unusual times, he shall be punished with the first 

180 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



amercement. 

When a man fords or crosses a river at the usual place and 
time without permission, he shall be fined 26% panas. 

Fishermen, carriers of firewood, grass, flowers, and fruits, 
gardeners, vegetable-dealers, and herdsmen, persons pursuing 
suspected criminals, messengers following other messengers going 
in advance, servants engaged to carry things, provisions, and 
orders to the army, those who use their own ferries, as well as those 
who supply villages of marshy districts with seeds, necessaries of 
life, commodities and other accessary things shall be exempted (to 
cross rivers at any time and place). 

Brahmans, ascetics (pravrajita), children, the aged, the 
afflicted, royal messengers, and pregnant women shall be provided 
by the superintendent with free passes to cross rivers. 

Foreign merchants who have often been visiting the country 
as well as those who are well known to local merchants shall be 
allowed to land in port- towns. 

Any person who is abducting the wife or daughter of another, 
one who is carrying off the wealth of another, a suspected person, 
one who seems to be of perturbed appearance, one who has no 
baggage, one who attempts to conceal, or evade the cognisance of 
the valuable load in one's hand, one who has just put on a different 
garb, one who has removed or renounced one's usual garb, one who 
has just turned out an ascetic, one who pretends to be suffering 
from disease, one who seems to be alarmed, one who is stealthily 
carrying valuable things, or going on a secret mission, or carrying 
weapons or explosives (agniyoga), one who holds poison in one's 
hand, and one who has come from a long distance without a pass 
shall all be arrested. 

181 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



A minor quadruped as well as a man carrying some load shall 
pay one mdsha. 

A head-load, a load carried on shoulders (kdyabhdrah), a 
cow, and a horse shall each pay 2 mdshas. 

A camel and a buffalo shall each pay 4 mdshas. 

A small cart (laghuydna)5 mdshas; and a cart (of medium 
size) drawn by bulls (golingam) shall pay 6 mdshas and a big cart 
(sakata) 7 mdshas. 

A head-load of merchandise l A mdsha; this explains other 
kinds of loads. In big rivers, ferry-fees are double the above. 
Villages near marshy places shall give (to the ferry-men) the 
prescribed amount of food-stuff and wages. 

In boundaries, ferry-men shall receive the toll, carriage-cess, 
and road-cess. They shall also confiscate the property of the person 
travelling without a pass. The Superintendent of Boats shall make 
good the loss caused by the loss of the boat due to the heavy load, 
sailing in improper time or place, want of ferry-men, or lack of 
repair. Boats should be launched between the months of Ashddha, 
the first seven days being omitted, and Kdrtika; the evidence of a 
ferryman should be given and the daily income should be remitted. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXVIII, "The Superintendent of Ships" in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the forty-ninth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXIX. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF COWS. 

182 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



THE Superintendent of cows shall supervise (1) herds 
maintained for wages (vetanopagrdhikam), (2) herds surrendered 
for a fixed amount of dairy produce (karapratikara), (3) useless 
and abandoned herds (bhagnotsrishtakam), (4) herds maintained 
for a share in dairy produce (bhdgdnupravishtam), (5) classes of 
herds (vrajaparyagram), (6) cattle that strayed (nashtam), (7) 
cattle that are irrecoverably lost (vinashtam), and (8) the amassed 
quantity of milk and clarified butter. 

(1) When a cowherd, a buffalo-herdsman, a milker, a churner, and 
a hunter (lubdhaka) fed by wages graze milch cows (dhenu) in 
hundreds (satam satam)— for if they graze the herds for the profit of 
milk and ghi, they will starve the calves to death,— that system of 
rearing the cattle is termed 'herds maintained for wages.' 

(2) When a single person rears a hundred heads (rupasatam) made 
up of equal numbers of each of aged cows, milch cows, pregnant 
cows, heifers, and calves (vatsatari) and gives (to the owner) 8 
vdrakas of clarified butter per annum, as well as the branded skin 
(of dead cows if any), that system is called 'herds surrendered for a 
fixed amount of dairy produce.' 

(3) When those who rear a hundred heads made up of equal 
numbers of each of afflicted cattle, crippled cattle, cattle that 
cannot be milked by any one but the accustomed person, cattle that 
are not easily milked, and cattle that kill their own calves give in 
return (to the owner) a share in dairy produce, it is termed 'useless 
and abandoned herd. ' 

(4) When under the fear of cattle-lifting enemies 
(parachakrdtavibhaydt), cattle are kept under the care of the 
superintendent, giving him l/10th of the dairy produce for his 
protection, it is termed "herds maintained for a share in dairy 
produce." 

(5) When the superintendent classifies cattle as calves, steers, 
tameable ones, draught oxen, bulls that are to be trained to yoke, 
bulls kept for crossing cows, cattle that are fit only for the supply of 

183 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



flesh, buffaloes and draught buffaloes; female calves, female steer, 
heifer, pregnant cows, milch cattle, barren cattle— either cows or 
buffaloes; calves that are a month or two old as well as those which 
are still younger; and when, as he ought to, he brands them all 
inclusive of their calves of one or two months old along with those 
stray cattle which have remained unclaimed in the herds for a 
month or two; and when he registers the branded marks, natural 
marks, colour and the distance from one horn to another of each of 
the cattle, that system is known as 'class of herds.' 

(6) When an animal is carried off by thieves or finds itself into the 
herds of others or strays unknown, it is called 'lost.' 

(7) When an animal is entangled in a quagmire or precipice or dies 
of disease or of old age, or drowned in water: or when it is killed by 
the fall of a tree or of river bank, or is beaten to death with a staff or 
stone, or is struck by lightening (isdna), or is devoured by a tiger or 
bitten by a cobra, or is carried off by a crocodile, or is involved in 
the midst of a forest fire, it is termed as "irrecoverably lost." 

Cowherds shall endeavour to keep them away from such 
dangers. 

Whoever hurts or causes another to hurt, or steals or causes 
another to steal a cow, should be slain. 

When a person substitutes an animal (rupa) bearing the royal 
brand mark for a private one, he shall be punished with the first 
amercement. 

When a person recovers a local cattle from thieves, he shall 
receive the promised reward (panitam rupam); and when a man 
rescues a foreign cattle (from thieves), he shall receive half its 
value. 

Cowherds shall apply remedies to calves or aged cows or 

184 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



cows suffering from diseases. 

They shall graze the herds in forests which are severally 
allotted as pasture grounds for various seasons and from which 
thieves, tigers and other molesting beasts are driven away by 
hunters aided by their hounds. 

With a view to scare out snakes and tigers and as a definite 
means of knowing the whereabouts of herds, sounding bells shall 
be attached to (the neck of) timid cattle. 

Cowherds shall allow their cattle to enter into such rivers or 
lakes as are of equal depth all round, broad, and free from mire and 
crocodiles, and shall protect them from dangers under such 
circumstances. 

Whenever an animal is caught hold of by a thief, a tiger, a 
snake, or a crocodile, or when it is too infirm owing to age or 
disease, they shall make a report of it; otherwise they shall be 
compelled to make good the loss. 

When an animal dies a natural death, they shall surrender the 
skin with the brand mark, if it is a cow or a buffalo; the skin 
together with the ear (karnalakshanam) if it is a goat or sheep; the 
tail with the skin containing the brand mark, if it is an ass or a 
camel; the skin, if it is a young one; besides the above, (they shall 
also restore) the fat (vasti), bile, marrow (sndyu), teeth, hoofs, 
horns, and bones. 

They (the cowherds) may sell either fresh flesh or dried flesh. 

They shall give buttermilk as drink to dogs and hogs, and 
reserve a little (buttermilk) in a bronze vessel to prepare their own 
dish: they may also make use of coagulated milk or cheese (kildta) 
to render their oilcakes relishing (ghdnapinydka-kledartha). 

185 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



He who sells his cow (from among the herds) shall pay (to the 
king) !4th rupa (value of the cow). 

During the rainy, autumnal, and the first part of winter 
(hemanta) seasons, they shall milk the cattle both the times 
(morning and evening); and during the latter part of winter and the 
whole of the spring and summer seasons, they shall milk only once 
(i.e., only in the morning). The cowherd who milks a cow a second 
time during these seasons shall have his thumb cut off. 

If he allows the time of milking to lapse, he shall forfeit the 
profit thereof (i.e., the milk). 

The same rule shall hold good in case of negligence of the 
opportune moment for putting a string through the nose of a bull 
and other animals, and for taming or training them to the yoke. 

One drona of a cow's milk will, when churned, yield one 
prastha of butter; the same quantity of a buffalo's milk will yield 
l/7th prastha more; and the same quantity of milk of goats and 
sheep will produce Vi prastha more. 

In all kinds of milk, the exact quantity of butter shall be 
ascertained by churning; for increase in the supply of milk and 
butter depends on the nature of the soil and the quantity and quality 
of fodder and water. 

When a person causes a bull attached to a herd to fight with 
another bull, he shall be punished with the first amercement; when 
a bull is injured (under such circumstances), he shall be punished 
with the highest amercement. 

Cattle shall be grouped in herds of ten each of similar colour, 
while they are being grazed. 



186 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



According to the protective strength of the cowherds the 
capacity of the cattle to go far and wide to graze, cowherds shall 
take their cattle either far or near. 

Once in six months, sheep and other animals shall be shorn 
of their wool. 

The same rules shall apply to herds of horses, asses, camels, 
and hogs. 

For bulls which are provided with nose-rings, and which 
equal horses in speed and in carrying loads, half a bhdra of 
meadow grass (yavasa), twice the above quantity of ordinary grass 
(trina), one tula (100 palas) of oil cakes, 10 ddhakas of bran, 5 
palas of salt (mukhalavanam), one kudumba of oil for rubbing over 
the nose (nasya), 1 prastha of drink (pdna), one tula of flesh, 1 
ddhaka of curis, 1 drona of barley or of cooked mdsha (Phraseolus 
Radiatus), 1 drona of milk; or half an ddhaka of surd (liquor), 1 
prastha of oil or ghi (sneha) 10 palas of sugar or jaggery, 1 pala of 
the fruit of sringibera (ginger) may be substituted for milk 
(pratipdna). 

The same commodities less by one quarter each will form the 
diet for mules, cows, and asses; twice the quantity of the above 
things for buffaloes and camels. 

Draught oxen and cows, supplying milk (payah), shall be 
provided with subsistence in proportion to the duration of time the 
oxen are kept at work, and the quantity of milk which the cows 
supply. 

All cattle shall be supplied with 
abundance of fodder and water. 



187 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Thus the manner of rearing herds of 
cattle has been dealt with. 

A herd of 100 heads of asses and mules shall contain 5 male 
animals; that of goats and sheep ten; and a herd of ten heads of 
either cows or buffaloes shall contain four male animals. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXIX, "The Superintendent of Cows" in Book 
II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the fiftieth chapter from the 
beginning.] 

CHAPTER XXX. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF HORSES. 

THE Superintendent of Horses shall register the breed, age, 
colour, marks, group or classes, and the native place of horses, and 
classify as (1) those that are kept in sale-house for sale 
(panydgdrikam), (2) those that are recently purchased 
(krayopdgatam), (3) those that have been captured in wars 
(dhavalabdham), (4) those that are of local breed (djdtam), (5) 
those that are sent thither for help (sdhdyyakdgatam), (6) those that 
are mortgaged (panasthitam), and (7) those that are temporarily 
kept in stables (ydvatkdlikam). 

He shall make a report (to the king) of such animals as are 
inauspicious, crippled, or diseased. 

Every horseman shall know how to make an economic use of 
whatever he has received from the king's treasury and storehouse. 

The superintendent shall have a stable constructed as spacious 
as required by the number of horses to be kept therein twice as 
broad as the length of a horse, with four doors facing the four 
quarters, with its central floor suited for the rolling of horses, with 

188 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



projected front provided with wooden seats at the entrance, and 
containing monkeys, peacocks, red spotted deer (prishata), 
mangoose, partridges (chakora), parrots, and maina birds (sdrika); 
the room for every horse shall be four times as broad or long as the 
length of a horse, with its central floor paved with smoothened 
wooden planks, with separate compartments for fodder 
(khddanakoshthakam), with passages for the removal of urine and 
dung, and with a door facing either the north or the east. The 
distinction of quarters (digvibhdga) may be made as a matter of 
fact or relatively to the situation of the building. 

Steeds, stallions and colts shall be separately kept. 

A steed that has just given birth to a colt shall be provided for 
the first three days with a drink of 1 prastha of clarified butter; 
afterwards it shall be fed with a prastha of flour (saktu) and made 
to drink oil mixed with medicine for ten nights; after that time, it 
shall have cooked grains, meadow grass, and other things suited to 
the season of the day. 

A colt, ten days old, shall be given a kudumba of flour mixed 
with '/4th kudumba of clarified butter, and 1 prastha of milk till it 
becomes six months old; then the above rations shall be increased 
half as much during each succeeding month, with the addition of 1 
prastha of barley till it becomes three years old, then one drona of 
barley till it grows four years old; at the age of four or five, it 
attains its full development and becomes serviceable. 

The face (mukha) of the best horse measures 32 angulas; its 
length is 5 times its face; its shank is 20 angulas; and its height is 4 
times its shank. 

Horses of medium and lower sizes fall short of the above 
measurement by two and three angulas respectively. 



189 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The circumference (parindha) of the best horse measures 100 
angulas, and horses of medium and lower sizes fall short of the 
above measurement by five parts (panchabhdgdvaram). 

For the best horse (the diet shall be) 2 dronas of any one of the 
grains, rice (sdli, vrihi,) barley, panic seeds (priyangu) soaked or 
cooked, cooked mudga (Phraseolus Munga) or mdsha (Phraseolus 
Radiatus); one prastha of oil, 5 palas of salt, 50 palas of flesh, 1 
ddhaka of broth (rasa) or 2 ddhakas of curd, 5 palas of sugar 
(kshdra), to make their diet relishing, 1 prastha of surd, liquor, or 2 
prasthas of milk. 

The same quantity of drink shall be specially given to those 
horses which are tired of long journey or of carrying loads. 

One, prastha of oil for giving enema (anuvdsana), 1 kudumba 
of oil for rubbing over the nose, 1,000 palas of meadow grass, 
twice as much of ordinary grass (trina); and hay-stalk or grass shall 
be spread over an area of 6 aratnis. 

The same quantity of rations less by one-quarter for horses of 
medium and lower size. 

A draught horse or stallion of medium size shall be given the 
same quantity as the best horse; and similar horses of lower size 
shall receive the same quantity as a horse of medium size. 

Steeds and pdrasamas shall have one quarter less of rations. 

Half of the rations given to steeds shall be given to colts. 
Thus is the distribution of ration dealt with. 
Those who cook the food of horses, grooms, and veterinary 

190 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



surgeons shall have a share in the rations (pratisvddabhajah) . 

Stallions which are incapacitated owing to old age, disease or 
hardships of war, and, being therefore rendered unfit for use in war 
live only to consume food shall in the interests of citizens and 
country people be allowed to cross steeds. 

The breed of Kdmbhoja, Sindhu, Aratta, and Vandyu 
countries are the best; those of Bdhlika, Pdpeya, Sauvira, and 
Taitala, are of middle quality; and the rest ordinary (avardh). 

These three sorts may be trained either for war or for riding 
according as they are furious (tikshna), mild (bhadra), or stupid or 
slow (manda). 

The regular training of a horse is its preparation for war 
(sdnndhyam karma). 

Circular movement (valgana), slow movement (nichairgata), 
jumping (langhana), gallop (dhorana), and response to signals 
(ndroshtra) are the several forms of riding (aupavdhya). 

Aupavenuka, vardhmdnaka, yamaka, dlidhapluta, vrithatta 
and trivachdli are the varieties of circular movement {valgana). 

The same kind of movements with the head and ear kept erect 
are called slow movements. 

These are performed in sixteen ways:— 

Prakirnaka, prakirnottara, nishanna, pdrsvdnuvritta, 
urmimdrga, sarabhakridita, sarabhapluta, tritdla, bdhydnuvritta, 
panchapdni, simhdyata, svddhuta, klishta, sldghita, brimhita, 
pushpdbhikirna . 



191 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Jumping like a monkey (kapipluta), jumping like a frog 
(bhekapluta), sudden jump (ekapluta), jumping with one leg 
(ekapddapluta), leaping like a cuckoo (kokilasamchdri), dashing 
with its breast almost touching the ground (urasya), and leaping 
like a crane (bakasamchari) are the several forms of jumping. 

Flying like a vulture (kdnka), dashing like a water-duck 
(vdrikdnaka), running like a peacock (mdyura) halt the speed of a 
peacock (ardhmdyura), dashing like a mangoose (ndkula), half the 
speed of a mangoose (ardha-ndkula), running like a hog (ydrdha) 
and half the speed of a hog (ardha-vdrdha) are the several forms of 
gallop. 

Movement following a signal is termed ndroshtra. 

Six, nine, and twelve yojanas (a day) are the distances (to be 
traversed) by carriage-horses. 

Five, eight, and ten yojanas are the distances (to be traversed) 
by riding horses (prishthavdhya). 

Trotting according to its strength (vikrama), trotting with 
good breathing (bhadrdsvdsa), and pacing with a load on its back 
are the three kinds of trot. 

Trotting according to strength (vikrama), trot combined with 
circular movement (valgita), ordinary trot (upakantha), 
middlemost speed (upajava), and ordinary speed are also the 
several kinds of trot (dhdrd). 

Qualified teachers shall give instructions as to the 
manufacture of proper ropes with which to tether the horses. 

Charioteers shall see to the manufacture of necessary war 
accoutrements of horses. 

192 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Veterinary surgeons shall apply requisite remedies against 
undue growth or diminution in the body of horses and also change 
the diet of horses according to changes in seasons. 

Those who move the horses (siitragrdhaka), those whose 
business is to tether them in stables, those who supply 
meadow-grass, those who cook the grains for the horses, those who 
keep watch in the stables, those who groom them and those who 
apply remedies against poison shall satisfactorily discharge their 
specified duties and shall, in default of it, forfeit their daily wages. 

Those who take out for the purpose of riding such horses as 
are kept inside (the stables) either for the purpose of waving lights 
(nirdjana) or for medical treatment shall be fined 12 panas. 

When, owing to defects in medicine or carelessness in the 
treatment, the disease (from which a horse is suffering) becomes 
intense, a fine of twice the cost of the treatment shall be imposed; 
and when, owing to defects in medicine, or not administering it, the 
result becomes quite the reverse, a fine equal to the value of the 
animal (patramulya) shall be imposed. 

The same rule shall apply to the treatment of cows, buffaloes, 
goats, and sheep. 

Horses shall be washed, bedaubed with sandal powder, and 
garlanded twice a day. On new moon days sacrifice to Bhutas, and 
on full moon days the chanting of auspicious hymns shall be 
performed. Not only on the ninth day of the month of Asvayuja, but 
also both at the commencement and close of journeys (ydtra) as 
well as in the time of disease shall a priest wave lights invoking 
blessings on the horses. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXX, "The Superintendent of Horses" in Book 

193 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the fifty-first chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXXI. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF 
ELEPHANTS. 

THE Superintendent of elephants shall take proper steps to 
protect elephant- forests and supervise the operations with regard to 
the standing or lying in stables of elephants, male, female, or 
young, when they are tired after training, and examine the 
proportional quantity of rations and grass, the extent of training 
given to them, their accoutrements and ornaments, as well as the 
work of elephant-doctors, of trainers of elephants in warlike feats, 
and of grooms, such as drivers, binders and others. 

There shall be constructed an elephant stable twice as broad 
and twice as high as the length (dydma) of an elephant, with 
separate apartments for female elephants, with projected entrance 
(sapragrivdm), with posts called kumdri, and with its door facing 
either the east or the north. 

The space in front of the smooth posts (to which elephants are 
tied) shall form a square, one side of which is equal to the length of 
an elephant and shall be paved with smooth wooden planks and 
provided with holes for the removal of urine and dung. 

The space where an elephant lies down shall be as broad as 
the length of an elephant and provided with a flat form raised to 
half the height of an elephant for leaning on. 

Elephants serviceable in war or for riding shall be kept inside 

194 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the fort; and those that are still being tamed or are of bad temper 
shall be kept outside. 

The first and the seventh of the eight divisions of the day are 
the two bathing times of elephants; the time subsequent to those 
two periods is for their food; forenoon is the time for their exercise; 
afternoon is the time for drink; two (out of eight) parts of the night 
are the time for sleep; one-third of the night is spent in taking 
wakeful rest. 

The summer is the season to capture elephants. 

That which is 20 years old shall be captured. 

Young elephants (bikka), infatuated elephants (mugdha), 
elephants without tusks, diseased elephants, elephants which 
suckle their young ones (dhenukd), and female elephants (has tint) 
shall not be captured. 

(That which is) seven aratnis in height, nine aratnis in length, 
ten aratnis in circumference and is (as can be inferred from such 
measurement), 40 years old, is the best. 

That which is 30 years old is of middle class; and that which 
is 25 years old is of the lowest class. 

The diet (for the last two classes) shall be lessened by 
one-quarter according to the class. 

The rations for an elephant (of seven aratnis in height) shall 
be 1 drona of rice, Vi ddhaka of oil, 3 prasthas of ghi, 10 palas of 
salt, 50 palas of flesh, 1 ddhaka of broth (rasa) or twice the 
quantity (i.e., 2 ddhakas) of curd; in order to render the dish 
tasteful, 10 palas of sugar (kshdra), 1 ddhaka of liquor, or twice the 

195 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



quantity of milk (payah);l prastha of oil for smearing over the 
body, 1/8 prastha (of the same) for the head and for keeping a light 
in the stables; 2 bhdras of meadow grass, 2 l A bhdras of ordinary 
grass (sashpa), and 2Vi bhdras of dry grass and any quantity of 
stalks of various pulses (kadankara). 

An elephant in rut (atyardla) and of 8 aratnis in height shall 
have equal rations with that of 7 aratnis in height. 

The rest of 6 or 5 aratnis in height shall be provided with 
rations proportional to their size. 

A young elephant (bikka) captured for the mere purpose of 
sporting with it shall be fed with milk and meadow grass. 

That which is blood-red (samjdtaldhita), that which is 
fleshed, that which has its sides evenly grown (samaliptapakshd), 
that which has its girths full or equal (samakakshyd), that whose 
flesh is evenly spread, that which is of even surface on its back 
(samatalpatala) and that which is of uneven surface (jdtadronikd) 
are the several kinds of physical splendour of elephants. 

Suitably to the seasons as well as to their physical spendour, 
elephants of sharp or slow sense (bhadra and mandra) as well as 
elephants possessed of the characteristics of other beasts shall be 
trained and taught suitable work. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXXI, "The Superintendent of Elephants" in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the fifty- second chapter from the 
beginning.] 



196 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER XXXII. TRAINING OF ELEPHANTS. 

ELEPHANTS are classified into four kinds in accordance 
with the training they are given: that which is tameable (damya), 
that which is trained for war (sdnndhya), that which is trained for 
riding (aupavdhya), and rogue elephants (vydla). 

Those which are tameable fall under five groups: that which 
suffers a man to sit on its withers (skandhagata), that which allows 
itself to be tethered to a post (stambhagata), that which can be 
taken to water (vdrigata), that which lies in pits (apapdtagata), and 
that which is attached to its herd (yuthagata). 

All these elephants shall be treated with as much care as a 
young elephant (bikkd). 

Military training is of seven kinds: Drill (upasthdna), turning 
(samvartana), advancing (samydna), trampling down and killing 
(vadhdvadha), fighting with other elephants (hastiyuddha), 
assailing forts and cities (ndgardyanam), and warfare. 

Binding the elephants with girths (kakshydkarma), putting 
on collars (graiveyakakarma), and making them work in company 
with their herds (yiithakarma) are the first steps (upa-vichara) of 
the above training. 

Elephants trained for riding fall under seven groups: that 
which suffers a man to mount over it when in company with 
another elephant (kunjaropavdhya), that which suffers riding when 
led by a warlike elephant (sdnndhyopavdhya), that which is taught 
trotting (dhorana), that which is taught various kinds of 
movements (ddhdnagatika), that which can be made to move by 
using a staff (yashtyupavdhya), that which can be made to move by 
using an iron hook (totropavdhya), that which can be made to 
move without whips (suddhopavdhya), and that which is of help in 

197 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



hunting. 

Autumnal work (sdradakarma), mean or rough work 
(hinakarma), and training to respond to signals are the first steps 
for the above training. 

Rogue elephants can be trained only in one way. The only 
means to keep them under control is punishment. It has a 
suspicious aversion to work, is obstinate, of perverse nature, 
unsteady, willful, or of infatuated temper under the influence of 
rut. 

Rogue elephants whose training proves a failure may be 
purely roguish (suddha), clever in roguery (suvrata), perverse 
(vishama), or possessed of all kinds of vice. 

The form of fetters and other necessary means to keep them 
under control shall be ascertained from the doctor of elephants. 

Tetherposts (dldna), collars, girths, bridles, legchains, frontal 
fetters are the several kinds of binding instruments. 

A hook, a bamboo staff, and machines (yantra) are 
instruments. 

Necklaces such as vaijavanti and kshurapramdla, and litter 
and housings are the ornaments of elephants. 

Mail-armour (varma), clubs (totra), arrow-bags, and 
machines are war- accoutrements. 

Elephant doctors, trainers, expert riders, as well as those who 
groom them, those who prepare their food, those who procure grass 
for them, those who tether them to posts, those who sweep elephant 

198 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



stables, and those who keep watch in the stables at night, are some 
of the persons that have to attend to the needs of elephants. 

Elephant doctors, watchmen, sweepers, cooks and others 
shall receive (from the storehouse,) 1 prastha of cooked rice, a 
handful of oil, land 2 palas of sugar and of salt. Excepting the 
doctors, others shall also receive 10 palas of flesh. 

Elephant doctors shall apply necessary medicines to 
elephants which, while making a journey, happen to suffer from 
disease, overwork, rut, or old age. 

Accumulation of dirt in stables, failure to supply grass, 
causing an elephant to lie down on hard and unprepared ground, 
striking on vital parts of its body, permission to a stranger to ride 
over it, untimely riding, leading it to water through impassable 
places, and allowing it to enter into thick forests are offences 
punishable with fines. Such fines shall be deducted from the 
rations and wages due to the offenders. 

During the period of Chdturmdsya (the months of July, 
August, September and October) and at the time when two seasons 
meet, waving of lights shall be performed thrice. Also on 
new-moon and full-moon days, commanders shall perform 
sacrifices to Bhutas for the safety of elephants. 

Leaving as much as is equal to twice the circumference of the 
tusk near its root, the rest of the tusks shall be cut off once in 2Vi 
years in the case of elephants born in countries irrigated by rivers 
(nadija), and once in 5 years in the case of mountain elephants. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXXII, "The Training of Elephants" in Book 
II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the fifty-third chapter from the 

199 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXXIII. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF 
CHARIOTS; THE SUPERINTENDENT OF INFANTRY 
AND THE DUTY OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. 

THE functions of the Superintendent of horses will explain 
those of the Superintendent of chariots. 

The Superintendent of chariots shall attend to the construction 
of chariots. 

The best chariot shall measure 10 purushas in height (,i.e., 
120 angulas), and 12 purushas in width. After this model, 7 more 
chariots with width decreasing by one purusha successively down 
to a chariot of 6 purushas in width shall be constructed. He shall 
also construct chariots of gods (devaratha), festal chariots 
(pushy aratha), battle chariots (sdngrdmika), travelling chariots 
(pdriydnika), chariots used in assailing an enemy's strong-holds 
(parapurabhiydnika), and training chariots. 

He shall also examine the efficiency in the training of troops 
in shooting arrows, in hurling clubs and cudgels, in wearing mail 
armour, in equipment, in charioteering, in fighting seated on a 
chariot, and in controlling chariot horses. 

He shall also attend to the accounts of provision and wages 
paid to those who are either permanently or temporarily employed 
(to prepare chariots and other things). Also he shall take steps to 
maintain the employed contented and happy by adequate reward 
(yogyarakshanushthdnam), and ascertain the distance of roads. 

200 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The same rules shall apply to the superintendent of infantry. 

The latter shall know the exact strength or weakness of 
hereditary troops (maula), hired troops (bhrita), the corporate body 
of troops (sreni), as well as that of the army of friendly or 
unfriendly kings and of wild tribes. 

He shall be thoroughly familiar with the nature of fighting in 
low grounds, of open battle, of fraudulent attack, of fighting under 
the cover of entrenchment (khanakayuddha), or from heights 
(dkdsayuddha), and of fighting during the day and night, besides 
the drill necessary for such warfare. 

He shall also know the fitness or unfitness of troops on 
emergent occasions. 

With an eye to the position which the entire army 
(chaturangabala) trained in the skillful handling of all kinds of 
weapons and in leading elephants, horses, and chariots have 
occupied and to the emergent call for which they ought to be ready, 
the commander-in-chief shall be so capable as to order either 
advance or retreat (dyogamayogam cha). 

He shall also know what kind of ground is more advantageous 
to his own army, what time is more favourable, what the strength of 
the enemy is, how to sow dissension in an enemy's army of united 
mind, how to collect his own scattered forces, how to scatter the 
compact body of an enemy's army, how to assail a fortress, and 
when to make a general advance. 

Being ever mindful of the discipline which his army has to 
maintain not merely in camping and marching, but in the thick of 
battle, he shall designate the regiments (vyuha) by the names of 
trumpets, boards, banners, or flags. 



201 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



[Thus ends Chapter XXXIII, "The Superintendent of Chariots, the 
Superintendent of Infantry, and the Duties of the 
Commander-in-Chief " in Book II, "The Duties of Government 
Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
fifty-fourth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXXIV. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF 
PASSPORTS. 

THE Superintendent of Passports shall issue passes at the rate 
of a masha per pass. Whoever is provided with a pass shall be at 
liberty to enter into, or go out of, the country. Whoever, being a 
native of the country enters into or goes out of the country without 
a pass shall be fined 12 panas. He shall be punished with the first 
amercement for producing a false pass. A foreigner guilty of the 
same offence shall be punished with the highest amercement. 

The superintendent of pasture lands shall examine passes. 

Pasture grounds shall be opened between any two dangerous 
places. 

Valleys shall be cleared from the fear of thieves, elephants, 
and other beasts. 

In barren tracts of the country, there shall be constructed not 
only tanks, buildings for shelter, and wells, but also flower gardens 
and fruit gardens. 

Hunters with their hounds shall reconnoitre forests. At the 
approach of thieves or enemies, they shall so hide themselves by 
ascending trees or mountains as to escape from the thieves, and 

202 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



blow conch- shells or beat drums. As to the movements of enemies 
or wild tribes, they may send information by flying the pigeons of 
royal household with passes (mudrd) or causing fire and smoke at 
successive distances. 

It shall be his duty to protect timber and elephant forests, to 
keep roads in good repair, to arrest thieves, to secure the safety of 
mercantile traffic, to protect cows, and to conduct the transaction 
of the people. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXXIV, "The Superintendent of Passports, 
and the Superintendent of Pasture Lands," in Book II, "The Duties 
of Government Superintendents," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. 
End of the fifty-fifth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXXV. THE DUTY OF 

REVENUE-COLLECTORS; SPIES IN THE GUISE OF 
HOUSEHOLDERS, MERCHANTS AND ASCETICS. 

HAVING divided the kingdom (janapada) into four districts, 
and having also subdivided the villages (grama) as of first, middle 
and lowest rank, he shall bring them under one or another of the 
following heads:— Villages that are exempted from taxation 
(parihdraka); those that supply soldiers (dyudhiya); those that pay 
their taxes in the form of grains, cattle, gold (hiranya), or raw 
material (kupya); and those that supply free labour (vishti), and 
dairy produce in lieu of taxes (karapratikara). 

It is the duty of Gopa, village accountant, to attend to the 
accounts of five or ten villages as ordered by the 
Collector-General. 

203 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



By setting up boundaries to villages, by numbering plots of 
grounds as cultivated, uncultivated, plains, wet lands, gardens, 
vegetable gardens, fences (vdta), forests, altars, temples of gods, 
irrigation works, cremation grounds, feeding houses (sattra), 
places where water is freely supplied to travellers (prapd), places 
of pilgrimage, pasture grounds and roads, and thereby fixing the 
boundaries of various villages, of fields, of forests, and of roads, he 
shall register gifts, sales, charities, and remission of taxes 
regarding fields. 

Also having numbered the houses as taxpaying or 
non-taxpaying, he shall not only register the total number of the 
inhabitants of all the four castes in each village, but also keep an 
account of the exact number of cultivators, cow-herds, merchants, 
artizans, labourers, slaves, and biped and quadruped animals, 
fixing at the same time the amount of gold, free labour, toll, and 
fines that can be collected from it (each house). 

He shall also keep an account of the number of young and old 
men that reside in each house, their history (charitra), occupation 
(djiva), income (ay a), and expenditure (vyaya). 

Likewise Sthdnika, district officer, shall attend to the 
accounts of one quarter of the kingdom. 

In those places which are under the jurisdiction of Gopa and 
Sthdnika, commissioners (prodeshtdrah) specially deputed by the 
Collector-general shall not only inspect the work done and the 
means employed by the village and district officers, but also collect 
the special religious tax known as bali (balipragraham kuryuh). 

Spies under the disguise of householders (grihapatika, 
cultivators) who shall be deputed by the collector- general for 
espionage shall ascertain the validity of the accounts (of the village 
and district officers) regarding the fields, houses and families of 

204 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



each village— the area and output of produce regarding fields, right 
of ownership and remission of taxes with regard to houses, and the 
caste and profession regarding families. 

They shall also ascertain the total number of men and beasts 
(janghdgra) as well as the amount of income and expenditure of 
each family. 

They shall also find out the causes of emigration and 
immigration of persons of migratory habit, the arrival and 
departure of men and women of condemnable (anarthya) 
character, as well as the movements of (foreign) spies. 

Likewise spies under the guise of merchants shall ascertain 
the quantity and price of the royal merchandise such as minerals, or 
products of gardens, forests, and fields or manufactured articles. 

As regards foreign merchandise of superior or inferior quality 
arriving thither by land or by water, they shall ascertain the amount 
of toll, road-cess, conveyance-cess, military cess, ferry-fare, and 
one-sixth portion (paid or payable by the merchants), the charges 
incurred by them for their own subsistence, and for the 
accommodation of their merchandise in warehouse (panydgdra). 

Similarly spies under the guise of ascetics shall, as ordered by 
the Collector-general, gather information as to the proceedings, 
honest or dishonest, of cultivators, cow-herds, merchants, and 
heads of Government departments. 

In places where altars are situated or where four roads meet, 
in ancient ruins, in the vicinity of tanks, rivers, bathing places, in 
places of pilgrimage and hermitage, and in desert tracts, 
mountains, and thick grown forests, spies under the guise of old 
and notorious thieves with their student bands shall ascertain the 

205 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



causes of arrival and departure, and halt of thieves, enemies, and 
persons of undue bravery. 

The Collector-general shall thus energetically attend to the 
affairs of the kingdom. Also his subordinates constituting his 
various establishments of espionage shall along with their 
colleagues and followers attend to their duties likewise. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXXV, "The Duty of revenue collectors; spies 
under the guise of house-holders, merchants, and ascetics," in 
Book II, "The Duties of Government Superintendents" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the fifty-sixth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XXXVI. THE DUTY OF A CITY 
SUPERINTENDENT. 

LIKE the Collector-general, the Officer in charge of the 
Capital City (Ndgaraka) shall look to the affairs of the capital. 

A Gopa shall keep the accounts of ten households, twenty 
households, or forty households. He shall not only know the caste, 
gotra, the name, and occupation of both men and women in those 
households, but also ascertain their income and expenditure. 

Likewise, the officer known as Sthdnika shall attend to the 
accounts of the four quarters of the capital. 

Managers of charitable institutions shall send information (to 
Gopa or Sthdnika) as to any heretics (Pdshanda) and travellers 
arriving to reside therein. They shall allow ascetics and men 
learned in the Vedas to reside in such places only when those 

206 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



persons are known to be of reliable character. 

Artisans and other handicraftsmen may, on their own 
responsibility, allow others of their own profession to reside where 
they carry on their own work (i.e., in their own houses). 

Similarly merchants may on their own responsibility allow 
other merchants to reside where they themselves carry on their 
mercantile work (i.e., their own houses or shops). 

They (the merchants) shall make a report of those who sell 
any merchandise in forbidden place or time, as well as of those 
who are in possession of any merchandise other than their own. 

Vintners, sellers of cooked flesh and cooked rice as well as 
prostitutes may allow any other person to reside with them only 
when that person is well-known to them. 

They (vintners, etc.) shall make a report of spendthrifts and 
fool-hardy persons who engage themselves in risky undertakings. 

Any physician who undertakes to treat in secret a patient 
suffering from ulcer or excess of unwholesome food or drink, as 
well as the master of the house (wherein such treatment is 
attempted) shall be innocent only when they (the physician and the 
master of the house) make a report of the same to either Gopa or 
Sthdnika; otherwise both of them shall be equally guilty with the 
sufferer. 

Masters of houses shall make a report of strangers arriving at, 
or departing from their houses; otherwise they shall be guilty of the 
offence (theft, etc.) committed during that night. Even during safe 
nights (i.e., nights when no theft, etc., seems to have been 
committed), they shall be fined 3 panas (for not making such a 
report). 

207 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Wayfarers going along a high road or by a foot path shall 
catch hold of any person whom they find to be suffering from a 
wound or ulcer, or possessed of destructive instruments, or tired of 
carrying a heavy load, or timidly avoiding the presence of others, 
or indulging in too much sleep, or fatigued from a long journey, or 
who appears to be a stranger to the place in localities such as inside 
or outside the capital, temples of gods, places of pilgrimage, or 
burial grounds. 

(Spies) shall also make a search for suspicious persons in the 
interior of deserted houses, in the workshops or houses of vintners 
and sellers of cooked rice and flesh, in gambling houses, and in the 
abode of heretics. 

Kindling of fire shall be prohibited during the two 
middlemost parts of day-time divided into four equal parts during 
the summer. A fine of 1/8 th of apana shall be imposed for kindling 
fire at such a time. 

Masters of houses may carry on cooking operations outside 
their houses. 

(If a house-owner is not found to have ready with him) five 
water-pots (pancha ghatindm), a kumbha, a drona, a ladder, an 
axe, a winnowing basket, a hook (such as is used to drive an 
elephant), pincers, (kachagrdhini), and a leather bag (driti), he 
shall be fined 14th of a pana. 

They shall also remove thatched roofs. Those who work by 
fire (blacksmiths) shall all together live in a single locality. 

Each houseowner shall ever be present (at night) at the door 
of his own house. 



208 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Vessels filled with water shall be kept in thousands in a row 
without confusion not only in big streets and at places where four 
roads meet but also in front of the royal buildings 
(rajaprigraheshu) . 

Any house-owner who does not run to give his help in 
extinguishing the fire of whatever is burning shall be fined 12 
panas; and a renter (avakrayi, i.e., one who has occupied a house 
for rent) not running to extinguish fire shall be fined 6 panas. 

Whoever carelessly sets fire (to a house) shall be fined 54 
panas; but he who intentionally sets fire (to a house) shall be 
thrown into fire. 

Whoever throws dirt in the street shall be punished with a fine 
of l/8th of a pana; whoever causes mire or water to collect in the 
street shall be fined l Ath of a pana; whoever commits the above 
offences in the king's road (rdjamdrga) shall be punished with 
double the above fines. 

Whoever excretes faeces in places of pilgrimage, reservoirs 
of water, temples, and royal buildings shall be punished with fines 
rising from one pana and upwards in the order of the offences; but 
when such excretions are due to the use of medicine or to disease 
no punishment shall be imposed. 

Whoever throws inside the city the carcass of animals such as 
a cat, dog, mangoose, and a snake shall be fined 3 panas; of 
animals such as an ass, a camel, a mule, and cattle shall be fined 6 
panas; and human corpse shall be punished with a fine of 50 panas. 

When a dead body is taken out of a city through a gate other 
than the usual or prescribed one or through a path other than the 
prescribed path, the first amercement shall be imposed; and those 
who guard the gates (through which the dead body is taken out) 

209 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



shall be fined 200 panas. 

When a dead body is interred or cremated beyond the burial 
or cremation grounds, a fine of 12 panas shall be imposed. 

The interval between six ndlikas (2 2/5 hours) after the fall of 
night and six ndlikas before the dawn shall be the period when a 
trumpet shall be sounded prohibiting the movement of the people. 

The trumpet having been sounded, whoever moves in the 
vicinity of royal buildings during the first or the last ydma (3 hours 
?) of the period shall be punished with a fine of one pana and a 
quarter; and during the middlemost ydmas, with double the above 
fine; and whoever moves outside (the royal buildings or the fort) 
shall be punished with four times the above fine. 

Whoever is arrested in suspicious places or as the perpetrator 
of a criminal act shall be examined. 

Whoever moves in the vicinity of royal buildings or ascends 
the defensive fortifications of the capital shall be punished with the 
middlemost amercement. 

Those who go out at night in order to attend to the work of 
midwifery or medical treatment, or to carry off a dead body to the 
cremation or burial grounds, or those who go out with a lamp in 
hand at night, as well as those who go out to visit the officer in 
charge of the city, or to find out the cause of a trumpet sound 
(turyapreksha), or to extinguish the outbreak of fire or under the 
authority of a pass shall not be arrested. 

During the nights of free movement (chdrardtrishu) those 
who move out under disguise, those who stir out though forbidden 
(pravarjitah), as well as those who move with clubs and other 
weapons in hand shall be punished in proportion to the gravity of 

210 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



their guilt. 

Those watchmen who stop whomever they ought not to stop, 
or do not stop whomever they ought to stop shall be punished with 
twice the amount of fine levied for untimely movement. 

When a watchman has carnal connection with a slave woman, 
he shall be punished with the first amercement; with a free woman 
middlemost amercement; with a woman arrested for untimely 
movement, the highest amercement; and a woman of high birth 
(kulastri), he shall be put to death. 

When the officer in charge of the city (ndgaraka) does not 
make a report (to the king) of whatever nocturnal nuisance of 
animate or inanimate nature (chetandchetana) has occurred, or 
when he shows carelessness (in the discharge of his duty), he shall 
be punished in proportion to the gravity of his crime. 

He shall make a daily inspection of reservoirs of water, of 
roads, of the hidden passage for going out of the city, of forts, 
fortwalls, and other defensive works. He shall also keep in his safe 
custody of whatever things he comes across as lost, forgotten or 
left behind by others. 

On the days to which the birth star of the king is assigned, as 
well as on full moon days, such prisoners as are young, old, 
diseased, or helpless (andtha) shall be let out from the jail 
(bandhandgdra); or those who are of charitable disposition or who 
have made any agreement with the prisoners may liberate them by 
paying an adequate ransom. 

Once in a day or once in five nights, jails may be emptied of 
prisoners in consideration of the work they have done, or of 
whipping inflicted upon them, or of an adequate ransom paid by 

211 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



them in gold. 

Whenever a new country is conquered, when an heir apparent 
is installed on the throne, or when a prince is born to the king, 
prisoners are usually set free. 

[Thus ends Chapter XXXVI, "The Duty of a City Superintendent" 
in Book II, "The Duties of government Superintendents," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the fifty-seventh chapter from the 
beginning. With this ends the Second Book "The Duties of 
Government Superintendents" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 51-185. 



212 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book III, "Concerning Law" 



CHAPTER I. DETERMINATION OF FORMS OF 
AGREEMENT; DETERMINATION OF LEGAL DISPUTES. 

IN the cities of Sangrahana, Dronamukha, and Sthaniya, and 
at places where districts meet, three members acquainted with 
Sacred Law (dharmasthas) and three ministers of the king 
(amdtyas) shall carry on the administration of Justice. 

(Valid and Invalid Transactions.) 

They shall hold as void agreements (vyavahdra) entered into 
in seclusion, inside the houses, in the dead of night, in forests, in 
secret, or with fraud. 

The proposer and the accessory shall be punished with the 
first amercement [A fine ranging from 48 to 96 panas is called first 
amercement; from 200 to 500 panas, the middlemost; and from 
500 to 1,000 panas the highest amercement. See Chap. XVII, Book 
III]; the witnesses (srotri = voluntary hearers) shall each be 
punished with half of the above fine; and accepters shall suffer the 
loss they may have sustained. 

But agreements entered into within the hearing of others, as 
well as those not otherwise condemnable shall be valid. 

Those agreements which relate to the division of inheritance, 
sealed or unsealed deposits, or marriage; or those in which are 
concerned women who are either afflicted with disease or who do 

213 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



not stir out; as well as those entered into by persons who are not 
known to be of unsound mind shall be valid though they might be 
entered into inside houses. 

Transactions relating to robbery, duel, marriage, or the 
execution of the king's order, as well as agreements entered into by 
persons who usually do their business during the first part of the 
night shall be valid though they might be done at night. 

With regard to those persons who live most part of their life in 
forests, whether as merchants, cowherds, hermits, hunters, or spies, 
their agreements though entered into in forests shall be valid. 

If fraudulent agreements, only such shall be valid as are 
entered into by spies. 

Agreements entered into by members of any association 
among themselves shall be valid though entered into in private. 

Such agreements (i.e., those entered into in seclusion, etc.) 
except as detailed above shall be void. 

So also agreements entered into by dependent or unauthorised 
persons, such as a father's mother, a son, a father having a son, an 
outcast brother, the youngest brother of a family of undivided 
interests, a wife having her husband or son, a slave, a hired 
labourer, any person who is too young or too old to carry on 
business, a convict (abhisasta), a cripple, or an afflicted person, 
shall not be valid. But it would be otherwise if he were authorised. 

Even agreements entered into by an authorised person shall 
be void if he was at the time (of making the agreements) under 
provocation, anxiety, or intoxication, or if he was a lunatic or a 
haunted person. 



214 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



In all these cases, the proposer, his accessory, and witnesses 
shall each be punished as specified above. 

But such agreements as are entered into in person by any one 
with others of his own community in suitable place and time are 
valid provided the circumstances, the nature, the description, and 
the qualities of the case are credible. 

Such agreements with the exception of orders 
(Adesa=probab\y a bill of exchange) and hypothecations may be 
binding though entered into by a third person. Thus the 
determination of the forms of agreement. 

(The Trial.) 

The year, the season, the month, the fortnight (paksha), the 
date, the nature and place of the deed, the amount of the debt as 
well as the country, the residence, the caste, the gotra, the name 
and occupation of both the plaintiff and the defendant both of 
whom must be fit to sue and defend (kritasamarthdvasthayoh), 
having been registered first, the statements of the parties shall be 
taken down in such order as is required by the case. These 
statements shall then be thoroughly scrutinised. 

(The offence of Parokta.) 

Leaving out the question at issue, either of the parties takes 
resort to another; his previous statement is not consistent with his 
subsequent one; he insists on the necessity of considering the 
opinion of a third person, though it is not worthy of any such 
consideration; having commenced to answer the question at issue, 
he breaks off at once, even though he is ordered to continue; he 
introduces questions other than those specified by himself; he 
withdraws his own statement; he does not accept what his own 

215 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



witnesses have deposed to; and he holds secret conversation with 
his witnesses where he ought not to do so. 

These constitute the offence of Parokta. 
(Punishment for Parokta.) 

Fine for parokta is five times the amount (paroktadandah 
panchabandah) . 

Fine for self assertion (svayamvddi = asserting without 
evidence) is ten times the amount (dasabandha.) 

(Payments for Witnesses.) 

Fees for witnesses (purushabhritih) shall cover l/8th of the 
amount (astdnga). Provision proportional to the amount sued for 
may also be made for the expenses incurred by witnesses in their 
journey. The defeated party shall pay these two kinds of costs. 

(Counter suits.) 

In cases other than duel, robbery, as well as disputes among 
merchants or trade-guilds, the defendant shall file no countercase 
against the plaintiff. Nor can there be a countercase for the 
defendant. 

(Adjournments. ) 

The plaintiff shall ('rejoin') reply soon after the defendant 
has answered the questions at issue. Else he shall be guilty of 
parokta, for the plaintiff knows the determining factors of the case. 
But the defendant does not do so. The defendant may be allowed 
three or seven nights to prepare his defence. If he is not ready with 
his defence within that time, he shall be punished with a fine 

216 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



ranging from 3 to 12 panas. If he does not answer even after three 
fortnights, he shall be fined for parokta, and the plaintiff shall 
recover out of the defendant's property the amount of the case. But 
if the plaintiff sues for a mere return of gratitude (pratyupakarana), 
then no (decree shall be passed). 

The same punishment shall be meted out to such of the 
defendants as fail in their defence. 

If the plaintiff fails to prove his case, he shall (also) be guilty 
of parokta. If he fails to substantiate his case against a dead or 
diseased defendant, he shall pay a fine and perform the (funeral) 
ceremonies of the defendant, as determined by the witnesses. If he 
proves his case, he may be permitted to take possession of the 
property hypothecated to him. 

But if he is not a Brahman, he may, on his failure to prove his 
case, be caused to perform such ceremonials as drive out demons 
(rakshoghna rakshitakam.) 

* In virtue of his power to uphold the observance of the 
respective duties of the four castes and of the four divisions of 
religious life, and in virtue of his power to guard 

against the violation of the Dharmas, the king is the 
fountain of justice (dharmapravartaka.) 

* Sacred law (Dharma), evidence (Vyavahdra), history (Charitra), 
and edicts of kings (Rdjasdsana) are the four legs of Law. Of these 
four in order, the later is superior to the one previously named. 

* Dharma is eternal truth holding its sway over the world; 
Vyavahdra, evidence, is in witnesses; Charitra, history, is to be 
found in the tradition (sangraha), of the people; and the order of 
kings is what is called s as ana. 

* As the duty of a king consists in protecting his subjects with 
justice, its observance leads him to heaven. He who does not 

217 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



protect his people or upsets the social order wields his royal sceptre 
(danda) in vain. 

* It is power and power (danda) alone which, only when exercised 
by the king with impartiality and in proportion to guilt either over 
his son or his enemy, maintains both this world and the next. 

* The king who administers justice in accordance with sacred law 
(Dharma), evidence (vyavahdra), history (samsthd) and edicts of 
kings (Nydya) which is the fourth will be able to conquer the whole 
world bounded by the four quarters (Chaturantdm mahim). 

* Whenever there is disagreement between history and sacred law 
or between evidence and sacred law, then the matter shall be settled 
in accordance with sacred law. 

* But whenever sacred law (sdstra) is conflict with rational law 
(Dharmanydya=kmgs' law), then reason shall be held 
authoritative; for there the original text (on which the sacred law 
has been based) is not available. 

* Self-assertion (svayamvdda) on the part of either of the parties 
has often been found faulty. Examination (anuyoga), honesty 
(drjava), evidence (hetu) and asseveration by oath 
(sapatha)— these alone can enable a man to win his cause. 

* Whenever by means of the deposition of witnesses, the 
statements of either of the parties are found contradictory, and 
whenever the cause of either of the parties is found through the 
king's spies to be false, then the decree shall be passed against that 
party. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Determination of forms of Agreement; 
Determination of Legal Disputes" in Book III, "Concerning Law," 
of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the fifty-eighth chapter from 
the beginning.] 

CHAPTER II. CONCERNING MARRIAGE. THE DUTY OF 
MARRIAGE, THE PROPERTY OF A WOMAN, AND 
COMPENSATIONS FOR REMARRIAGE. 



218 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



MARRIAGE precedes the other calls of life (vyavahdra.) The 
giving in marriage of a maiden well-adorned is called 
Brahma-marriage. The joint-performance of sacred duties (by a 
man and a woman) is known as prdjdpatya marriage. 

(The giving in marriage of a maiden) for a couple of cows is 
called Arsha. (The giving in marriage of a maiden) to an officiating 
priest in a sacrifice is called Daiva. The voluntary union of a 
maiden with her lover is called Gdndharva. Giving a maiden after 
receiving plenty of wealth (sulka) is termed Asura. The abduction 
of a maiden is called Rdkshasa. The abduction of a maiden while 
she is asleep and in intoxication is called Paisdcha marraige. 

Of these, the first four are ancestral customs of old and are 
valid on their being approved of by the father. The rest are to be 
sanctioned by both the father and the mother; for it is they that 
receive the money (sulka) paid by the bridegroom for their 
daughter. In case of the absence by death of either the father or the 
mother, the survivor will receive the sulka. If both of them are 
dead, the maiden herself shall receive it. Any kind of marriage is 
approvable, provided it pleases all those (that are concerned in it.) 

(Property of Women.) 

Means of subsistence (vritti) or jewellery (dbadhya) 
constitutes what is called the property of a woman. Means of 
subsistence valued at above two thousand shall be endowed (on her 
name). There is no limit to jewellery. It is no guilt for the wife to 
make use of this property in maintaining her son, her 
daughter-in-law or herself whenever her absent husband has made 
no provision for her maintenance. In calamities, disease and 
famine, in warding off dangers and in charitable acts, the husband, 
too, may make use of this property. Neither shall there be any 
complaint against the enjoyment of this property by mutual 

219 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



consent by a couple who have brought forth a twin. Nor shall there 
be any complaint if this property has been enjoyed for three years 
by those who are wedded in accordance with the customs of the 
first four kinds of marriage. But the enjoyment of this property in 
the cases of Gdndharva and Asura marriages shall be liable to be 
restored together with interest on it. In the case of such marriages 
as are called Rdkshasa and Paisacha, the use of this property shall 
be dealt with as theft. Thus the duty of marriage is dealt with. 

On the death of her husband a woman, desirous to lead a pious 
life, shall at once receive not only her endowment and jewellery 
(sthdpydbharanam), but also the balance of sulka due to her. If 
both of these two things are not actually in her possession, though 
nominally given to her, she shall at once receive both of them 
together with interest (on their value.) If she is desirous of a second 
marriage (kutumbakdma), she shall be given on the occasion of her 
remarriage (nivesakdle) whatever either her father-in-law or her 
husband or both had given to her. The time at which women can 
remarry shall be explained in connection with the subject of long 
sojourn of husbands. 

If a widow marries any man other than of her father-in-law's 
selection (svasuraprdtilo-myenanivishtd), she shall forfeit 
whatever had been given to her by her father-in-law and her 
husband. 

The kinsmen (gndtis) of a woman shall return to her whatever 
property of her own she had placed in their custody. Whoever 
justly takes a woman under his protection shall equally protect her 
property. No woman shall succeed in her attempt to establish her 
title to the property of her husband. 

If she lives a pious life, she may enjoy it (dharmakdmd 
bhunjita). No woman with a son or sons shall be at liberty to make 
free use of her own property (stridhana); for that property of hers 

220 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



her sons shall receive. 

If a woman attempts to take possession of her own property 
under the plea of maintaining her sons, she shall be made to endow 
it in their name. If a woman has many male children, then she shall 
conserve her own property in the same condition as she had 
received from her husband. Even that property which has been 
given her with full powers of enjoyment and disposal she shall 
endow in the name of her sons. 

A barren widow who is faithful to the bed of her dead 
husband may, under the protection of her teacher, enjoy her 
property as long as she lives: for it is to ward off calamities that 
women are endowed with property. On her death, her property 
shall pass into the hands of her kinsmen {day add). If the husband is 
alive and the wife is dead, then her sons and daughters shall divide 
her property among themselves. If there are no sons, her daughters 
shall have it. In their absence her husband shall take that amount of 
money (sulka) which he had given her, and her relatives shall 
retake whatever in the shape of gift or dowry they had presented 
her. Thus the determination of the property of a woman is dealt 
with. 

(Re-marriage of Males.) 

If a woman either brings forth no (live) children, or has no 
male issue, or is barren, her husband shall wait for eight years, 
(before marrying another). If she bears only a dead child, he has to 
wait for ten years. If she brings forth only females, he has to wait 
for twelve years. Then if he is desirous to have sons, he may marry 
another. In case of violating this rule, he shall be made to pay her 
not only sulka, her property (stridhana) and an adequate monetary 
compensation (ddhivedanikamartham), but also a fine of 24 panas 
to the Government. Having given the necessary amount of sulka 

221 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



and property {stridhana) even to those women who have not 
received such things on the occasion of their marriage with him, 
and also having given his wives the proportionate compensation 
and an adequate subsistence (yritti), he may marry any number of 
women; for women are created for the sake of sons. If many or all 
of them are at the same time in menses, he shall lie with that 
woman among them, whom he married earlier or who has a living 
son. In case of his concealing the fact of her being in menses or 
neglecting to lie with any of them after her menses, he shall pay a 
fine of 96 panas. Of women who either have sons or are pious or 
barren, or bring forth only a dead child or are beyond the age of 
menstruation, none shall be associated with against her liking. If a 
man has no inclination, he may not lie with his wife who is either 
afflicted with leprosy or is a lunatic. But if a woman is desirous of 
having sons, she may lie with men suffering from such disease. 

* If a husband either is of bad character or is long gone abroad 
or has become a traitor to his king or is likely to endanger the life of 
his wife or has fallen from his caste or has lost virility, he may be 
abandoned by his wife. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "The Duty of Marriage, the Property of a 
Woman, and Compensation for Remarriage," in Book III, 
"Concerning Law," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
fifty-ninth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. THE DUTY OF A WIFE; MAINTENANCE 
OF A WOMAN; CRUELTY TO WOMEN; ENMITY 
BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE; A WIFE'S 
TRANSGRESSION; HER KINDNESS TO ANOTHER; AND 
FORBIDDEN TRANSACTIONS. 



222 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



WOMEN, when twelve years old, attain their majority 
iprdptavyavahdra) and men when sixteen years old. If after 
attaining their majority, they prove disobedient to lawful authority 
(asusrushdydm), women shall be fined 15 panas and men, twice the 
amount. 

(Maintenance of a woman.) 

A woman who has a right to claim maintenance for an 
unlimited period of time shall be given as much food and clothing 
(grdsacchddana) as is necessary for her or more than is necessary 
in proportion to the income of the maintainer 
(yatha-purushaparivdpam vd). If the period (for which such things 
are to be given to her) is limited, then a certain amount of money 
fixed in proportion to the income of the maintainer shall be given to 
her; so also if she has not been given her sulka, property, and 
compensation (due to her for allowing her husband to remarry). If 
after parting with her husband, she places herself under the 
protection of any one belonging to her father-in-law's family 
(svasrakula), or if she begins to live independently, then her 
husband shall not be sued for (for her maintenance). Thus the 
determination of maintenance is dealt with. 

(Cruelty to women.) 

Women of refractive nature shall be taught manners by using 
such general expressions as 'Thou, half naked; thou, fully naked; 
thou, cripple; thou, fatherless; thou, motherless, (nagne vinagne 
nyange pitrke matrke vinagne ityanirdesena vinayagrahanam). Or 
three beats either with a bamboo-bark or with a rope or with the 
palm of the hand may be given on her hips. Violation of the above 
rules shall be liable to half the punishment levied for defamation 
and criminal hurt. The same kind of punishment shall be meted out 
to a woman who, moved with jealousy or hatred, shows cruelty to 

223 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



her husband. Punishments for engaging in sports at the door of, or 
outside her husband's house shall be as dealt with elsewhere. Thus 
cruelty to women is dealt with. 

(Enmity between husband and wife.) 

A woman, who hates her husband, who has passed the period 
of seven turns of her menses, and who loves another shall 
immediately return to her husband both the endowment and 
jewellery she has received from him, and allow him to lie down 
with another woman. A man, hating his wife, shall allow her to 
take shelter in the house of a mendicant woman, or of her lawful 
guardians or of her kinsmen. If a man falsely accuses his wife of 
adultery with one of her or his kinsmen or with a spy—an 
accusation which can only be proved by eyewitnesses 
(drishtilinge)— or falsely accuses her of her intention to deprive him 
of her company, he shall pay a fine of 12 panas. A woman, hating 
her husband, can not dissolve her marriage with him against his 
will. Nor can a man dissolve his marriage with his wife against her 
will. But from mutual enmity, divorce may be obtained 
(parasparam dveshdnmokshah). If a man, apprehending danger 
from his wife desires divorce (mokshamichhet), he shall return to 
her whatever she was given (on the occasion of her marriage). If a 
woman, under the apprehension of danger from her husband, 
desires divorce, she shall forfeit her claim to her property; 
marriages contracted in accordance with the customs of the first 
four kinds of marriages cannot be dissolved. 

(Transgression.) 

If a woman engages herself in amorous sports, or drinking in 
the face of an order to the contrary, she shall be fined 3 panas. She 
shall pay a fine of 6 panas for going out at day time to sports or to 
see a woman or spectacles. She shall pay a fine of 12 panas if she 

224 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



goes out to see another man or for sports. For the same offences 
committed at night, the fines shall be doubled. If a woman abducts 
another woman while the latter is asleep or under intoxication 
(suptamatta-pravrajane), or if she drags her husband as far as the 
door of the house, she shall be fined 12 panas. If a woman leaves 
her house at night, she shall pay double the above fine. If a man and 
a woman make signs to each other with a view to sensual 
enjoyment, or carry on secret conversation (for the same purpose), 
the woman shall pay a fine of 24 panas, and the man, double the 
amount. A woman, holding out her hair, the tie of her dress round 
her loins, her teeth or her nails, shall pay the first amercement, and 
a man, doing the same, twice the first amercement. 

For holding conversation in suspicious places, whips may be 
substituted for fines. In the centre of the village, an outcaste person 
(chanddla) may whip such women five times on each of the sides 
of their body. She may get rid of being whipped by paying a pana 
for each whip (panikam vd praharam mokshayet). Thus 
transgression is dealt with. 

(Forbidden transactions.) 

With regard to a man and a woman who, though forbidden to 
carry on any mutual transaction, help each other, the woman shall 
be fined 12, 24 and 54 panas respectively according as the help 
consists of (i) small things, of (ii) heavy things and (iii) of gold or 
gold-coin (hiranyasuvarnayoh); and the man, at double the above 
rates. With regard to similar transaction between a man and a 
woman who cannot mix with each other (agamvayoh), half of the 
above punishment shall be levied. Similar punishment shall be 
meted out for any forbidden transaction with any men. Thus 
forbidden transactions are dealt with. 

* Treason, transgression and wandering at will shall deprive a 

225 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



woman of her claim not only to (i) stridhana, some form of 
subsistence of above 2,000 panas and jewellery, 
(ii) and dhita, compensation she may have obtained for allowing 
her husband to marry another woman, but also (iii) to sulka, money 
which her parents may have received from her husband. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "The Duty of a Wife; Maintenance of a 
Woman; Enmity between Husband and Wife; a Wife's 
Transgression; and Forbidden Transactions" in the section 
"Concerning Marriage," in Book III, "Concerning Law" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the sixtieth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. VAGRANCY, ELOPEMENT AND SHORT 
AND LONG SOJOURNMENTS. 

IF under any other excuse than danger, a woman gets out of 
her husband's house, she shall be fined 6 panas. If she gets out 
against the order (of her husband) to the contrary, she shall be fined 
12 panas. If she goes beyond her neighbouring house 
(prativesagrihatigatdyah), she shall be fined 6 panas. If she allows 
into her house her neighbour, takes into her house the alms of any 
mendicant, or the merchandise of any merchant, she shall be fined 
12 panas. If she deals as above though expressly forbidden, she 
shall be punished with the first amercement. If she goes out beyond 
the surrounding houses (parigrihdtigatdyam), she shall be fined 24 
panas. If under any other excuse than danger, she takes into her 
house the wife of another man, she shall be fined 100 panas. But 
she will not be guilty if the entrance is effected without her 
knowledge or against her orders to the contrary. 



226 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



My teacher says:— With a view to avoid danger, it is no 
offence for women to go to any male person who is a kinsman of 
her husband, or is a rich and prosperous gentleman (sukhdvastha), 
or is the head-man of the village or is one of her guardians 
(anvddhikula), or who belongs to the family of a mendicant 
woman, or to any one of her own kinsmen. 

But Kautilya questions :— How is it possible for good women 
(sddhvijana) to know at least this fact that the family of her own 
kinsmen consisting of a number of males is good? It is no offence 
for women to go to the houses of kinsmen under the circumstances 
of death, disease, calamities, and confinement of women. Whoever 
prevents her going under such circumstances, shall be fined 12 
panas. If a woman conceals herself under such circumstances, she 
shall forfeit her endowment. If her kinsmen conceal her (with a 
view to exempt her from giving her aid under such circumstances), 
they shall lose the balance of sulka, money due to them from her 
husband for giving her in marriage. Thus vagrancy is dealt with. 

(Elopement or Criminal Rendezvous.) 

If leaving her husband's house, a woman goes to another 
village, she shall not only pay a fine of 12 panas, but also forfeit 
her endowment and jewels (sthdpydbharanalopascha). If under 
any other excuse than receiving her subsistence or pilgrimage 
(bharmdddnatirthagamandbhydmanyatra), a woman goes to any 
other place even in company with an as sociable man, she shall not 
only pay a fine of 24 panas, but also lose all kinds of social 
privileges (sarvadharmalopascha). But the man who allows such a 
woman to accompany him in his journey shall be punished with the 
first amercement. If both of them (man, and woman) have similar 
ideals in life (tulyasreyasoh) and are of sinful life (pdpiyasoh), 
each of them shall be punished with the middle-most amercement. 
If he whom a woman accompanies in her journey is her near 

227 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



relative, he shall not be punished. If a relative allows a woman to 
accompany him, though he is forbidden, he shall be punished with 
half the above fine (middlemost amercement). If on a road, or in 
the middle of a forest, or in any other concealed places a woman 
falls into the company of any other man, or if, with a view to 
enjoyment, she accompanies a suspicious or forbidden man, she 
shall be guilty of elopement (sangrahanam vidydt). It is no offence 
for women to fall into the company of actors, players, singers, 
fishermen, hunters, herdsmen, vintners, or persons of any other 
kind who usually travel with their women. If a man takes a woman 
with him on his journey, though forbidden to do so, or if a woman 
accompanies a man though she is forbidden to do so, half of the 
above fines shall be meted out to them. Thus elopement is dealt 
with. 

(Re-marriage of women.) 

Wives who belong to Sudra, Vaisya, Kshatriya or Brahman 
caste, and who have not given birth to children should wait as long 
as a year for their husbands who have gone abroad for a short time; 
but if they are such as have given birth to children, they should wait 
for their absent husbands for more than a year. If they are provided 
with maintenance, they should wait for twice the period of time just 
mentioned. If they are not so provided with, their well-to-do gndtis 
should maintain them either for four or eight years. Then the gndtis 
should leave them to marry after taking what had been presented to 
them on the occasion of their marriages. If the husband is a 
Brahman, studying abroad, his wife who has no issue should wait 
for him for ten years; but if she has given birth to children, she 
should wait for twelve years. If the husband is of Kshatriya caste, 
his wife should wait for him till her death; but even if she bears 
children to a savarna husband, (i.e., a second husband belonging to 
the same gotra as that of the former husband) with a view to avoid 
the extinction of her race, she shall not be liable to contempt 

228 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



thereof (savarnatascha prajdtd nd pavddam labheta). If the wife of 
an absent husband lacks maintenance and is deserted by well-to-do 
gndtis, she may remarry one whom she likes and who is in a 
position to maintain her and relieve her misery. 

A young wife (kumdri) who is wedded in accordance with the 
customs of the first four kinds of marriage (dharmavivdhdt), and 
whose husband has gone abroad and is heard of shall wait for him 
for the period of seven menses (saptatirthdnydkdnksheta), 
provided she has not publicly announced his name; but she shall 
wait for him a year in case of her having announced the name of her 
absent husband who is heard of. In the case of a husband who is 
gone abroad but who is not heard of, his wife shall wait for the 
period of five menses, but if the absent husband is not heard of, his 
wife shall wait for him for the period of ten menses. In the case of a 
husband who is gone abroad and is not heard of, his wife shall, if 
she has received only a part of sulka from him, wait for him for the 
period of three menses; but if he is heard of, she shall wait for him 
for the period of seven menses. A young wife who has received the 
whole amount of sulka shall wait for the period of five menses for 
her absent husband who is not heard of; but if he is heard of, she 
shall wait for him for the period of ten menses. Then with the 
permission of judges (dharma-sthairvisrishtd), she may marry one 
whom she likes; for neglect of intercourse with wife after her 
monthly ablution is, in the opinion of Kautilya, a violation of one's 
duty (tirthoparodho hi dharmavadha iti Kautilyah). 

In the case of husbands who have long gone abroad 
(dirgrhapravdsinah), who have become ascetics, or who have been 
dead, their wives, having no issue, shall wait for them for the 
period of seven menses; but if they have given birth to children, 
they shall wait for a year. Then (each of these women) may marry 
the brother of her husband. If there are a number of brothers to her 
lost husband, she shall marry such a one of them as is next in age to 
her former husband, or as is virtuous and is capable of protecting 

229 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



her, or one who is the youngest and unmarried. If there are no 
brothers to her lost husband, she may marry one who belongs to the 
same gotra as her husband's or relative. But if there are many such 
persons as can be selected in marriage, she shall choose one who is 
a nearer relation of her lost husband. 

* If a woman violates the above rule by remarrying one who 
is not a kinsman (ddydda) of her husband, then the woman and the 
man who remarry each other, those that have given her in 
remarriage and those who have given their consent to it shall all be 
liable to the punishment for elopement. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "Vagrancy; Elopement; and Short and 
Long Sojournments," in the section "Concerning Marriage" in 
Book III, "Concerning Law" of 'the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 
the Section "Concerning Marriage". End of the sixty- first chapter 
from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. DIVISION OF INHERITANCE. 

SONS whose fathers and mothers or ancestors are alive 
cannot be independent (anisvarah). After their time, division of 
ancestral property among descendants from the same ancestor shall 
take place, calculating per sterpes (according to fathers). 

Self-acquired property of any of the sons with the exception 
of that kind of property which is earned by means of parental 
property is not divisible. Sons or grandsons till the fourth 
generation from the first parent shall also have prescribed shares 
(amsabhdjah) in that property which is acquired by means of their 
undivided ancestral property; for the line (pindah) as far as the 
fourth generation is uninterrupted (avichchhinnah). But those 

230 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



whose line or genealogy from the first ancestor is interrupted 
(vichchhinnapinddh, i.e., those who are subsequent to the fourth 
generation), shall have equal divisions. Those who have been 
living together shall redivide their property whether they had 
already divided their ancestral property before or they had received 
no such property at all. Of sons, he who brings the ancestral 
property to a prosperous condition shall also have a share of the 
profit. 

If a man has no male issue, his own brothers, or persons who 
have been living with him, (saha jivino vd), shall take possession 
of his movable property (dravyam); and his daughters, (born of 
marriages other than the first four), shall have his immovable 
property (riktham). If one has sons, they shall have the property; if 
one has (only) daughters born of such marriage as is contracted in 
accordance with the customs of any of the first four kinds of 
marriage, they shall have the property; if there are neither sons nor 
such daughters, the dead man's father, if living, shall have it; if he, 
too, is not alive, the dead man's brothers and the sons of his 
brothers shall have it; if there are many fatherless brothers, all of 
them shall divide it; and each of the many sons of such brothers 
shall have one share due to his father (piturekamamsam); if the 
brothers (sodarya) are the sons of many fathers, they shall divide it 
calculating from their fathers. 

Among a dead man's father, brother, and brother's sons, the 
succeeding ones shall depend on the preceding ones if living (for 
their shares); likewise the youngest or the eldest claiming his own 
share. 

A father, distributing his property while he is alive, shall 
make no distinction in dividing it among his sons. Nor shall a 
father deprive without sufficient reason any of the sons of his 
share. Father being dead, the elder sons shall show favour to the 

231 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



younger ones, if the latter are not of bad character. 

(Time of dividing inheritance.) 

Division of inheritance shall be made when all the inheritors 
have attained their majority. If it is made before, the minors shall 
have their shares, free of all debts. 

These shares of the minors shall be placed in the safe custody 
of the relatives of their mothers, or of aged gentlemen of the 
village, till they attain their majority. The same rule shall hold good 
in the case of those who have gone abroad. Unmarried brothers 
shall also be paid as much marriage cost as is equal to that incurred 
in the marriages of married brothers 

(sannivishtasamamasannivishtebhyonaivesanikam dadyuh). 

Daughters, too, (unmarried) shall be paid adequate dowry 
(prdddnikam), payable to them on the occasion of their marriages. 
Both assets and liabilities shall be equally divided. 

My teacher says that poor people (nishkinchandh) shall 
equally distribute among themselves even the mud-vessels 
(udapdtram). 

In the opinion of Kautilya, it is unnecessary to say so 
(chhalam); for as a rule, division is to be made of all that is in 
existence, but of nothing that is not in existence. Having declared 
before witnesses the amount of property common to all (sdmdnya) 
as well as the property constituting additional shares (amsa) of the 
brothers (in priority of their birth), division of inheritance shall be 
carried on. Whatever is badly and unequally divided or is involved 
in deception, concealment or secret acquisition, shall be redivided. 

Property for which no claimant is found (dddyddakam) shall 
go to the king, except the property of a woman, of a dead man for 

232 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



whom no funeral rites have been performed, or of a niggardly man 
with the exception of that of a Brahman learned in the Vedas. That 
(the property of the learned) shall be made over to those who are 
well- versed in the three Vedas. 

Persons fallen from caste, persons born of outcaste men, and 
eunuchs shall have no share; likewise idiots, lunatics, the blind and 
lepers. If the idiots, etc., have wives with property, their issues who 
are not equally idiots, etc., shall share inheritance. All these 
persons excepting those that are fallen from caste (patitavarjah) 
shall be entitled to only food and clothing. 

* If these persons have been married (before they became 
fallen, etc.) and if their line is likely to become extinct, their 
relatives may beget sons for them and give proportional shares of 
inheritance to those sons. 

[Thus ends Chapter V, "Procedure of Portioning Inheritance" in 
the section of "Division of Inheritance" in Book III, "Concerning 
law" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the sixty-second 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER VI. SPECIAL SHARES IN INHERITANCE. 

GOATS shall be the special shares of the eldest of sons, born 
of the same mother, among, Brdhmans; horses among Kshatriyas; 
cows among Vaisyas; and sheep among Sudras. The blind of the 
same animals shall be the special shares to the middle-most sons; 
species of variegated colour of the same animals shall be the 
special shares to the youngest of sons. In the absence of quadruped, 
the eldest shall take an additional share of the whole property 

233 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



excepting precious stones; for by this act alone, he will be bound in 
his duty to his ancestors. 

The above method is in accordance with the rules observed 
among the followers of Usanas. 

The father being dead, his carriage and jewellery shall be the 
special share to the eldest; his bed, seat, and bronze plate in which 
he used to take his meals (bhuktakdmsyam), to the middle-most;, 
and black grains, iron, domestic utensils, cows and cart to the 
youngest. The rest of the property, or the above things, too, may be 
equally divided among themselves. Sisters shall have no claim to 
inheritance; they shall have the bronze plate and jewellery of their 
mother after her death. An impotent eldest son shall have only 
l/3rd of the special share usually given to the eldest; if the eldest 
son follows a condemnable occupation or if he has given up the 
observance of religious duties, he shall have only l A of the special 
share; if he is unrestrained in his actions he shall have nothing. 

The same rule shall hold good with the middlemost and 
youngest sons; of these two, one who is endowed with manliness 
(mdnushopetah), shall have half the special share usually given to 
the eldest. 

With regard to sons of many wives:— 

Of sons of two wives of whom only one woman has gone 
through all the necessary religious ceremonials, or both of whom 
have not, as maidens, observed necessary religious rites, or one of 
whom has brought forth twins, it is by birth that primogeniture ship 
is decided. 

Shares in inheritance for such sons as Siita, Mdgadha, Vrdtya 
and Rathakdra shall depend on the abundance of paternal property; 
the rest, i.e., sons other than Siita, etc., of inferior birth, shall be 

234 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



dependent on the eldest for their subsistence. Dependent sons shall 
have equal divisions. 

Of sons begotten by a Brahman in the four castes, the son of a 
Brahman woman shall take four shares; the son of a Kshatriya 
woman three shares; the son of a Vaisya woman two shares, and 
the son of a Sudra woman one share. 

The same rule shall hold good in the case of Kshatriya and 
Vaisya fathers begetting sons in three or two castes in order. 

An Anantara son of a Brahman, i.e. a son begotten by a 
Brahman on a woman of next lower caste, shall, if endowed with 
manly or superior qualities (mdnushopetah), take an equal share 
(with other sons of inferior qualities); similarly Anantara sons of 
Kshatriya or Vaisya fathers shall if endowed with manly or 
superior qualities, take half or equal shares (with others). An only 
son to two mothers of different castes shall take possession of the 
whole property and maintain the relatives of his father. A 
Palrasava son begotten by a Brahman on a Sudra woman, shall 
take l/3rd share; a sapinda, (an agnate) or a kulya (the nearest 
cognate), of the Brahman shall take the remaining two shares, 
being thereby obliged to offer funeral libation; in the absence of 
agnates or cognates, the deceased father's teacher or student shall 
take the two shares. 

* Or on the wife of such a Brahman shall a sagotra, relative 
bearing the same family name, or a (mdtribandha) relative of his 
mother, beget a natural son (kshetraja), and this son may take that 
wealth. 

[Thus ends Chapter VI, "Special Shares of Inheritance" in the 
section of "Division of inheritance" in Book III, "Concerning law" 
of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the sixty-third chapter from 
the beginning.] 

235 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER VII. DISTINCTION BETWEEN SONS. 

MY preceptor says that the seed sown in the field of another 
shall belong to the owner of that field. Others hold that the mother 
being only the receptacle for the seed (mdtd bhastrd), the child 
must belong to him from whose seed it is born. Kautilya says that it 
must belong to both the living parents. 

The son begotten by a man on his wife who has gone through 
all the required ceremonials is called aurasa, natural son; equal to 
him is the son of an appointed daughter (putrikdputra); the son 
begotten on a wife by another man, appointed for the purpose, and 
of the same gotra as that of the husband; or of a different gotra, is 
called kshetraja; on the death of the begetter, the kshetraja son will 
be the son to both the fathers, follow the gotras of both, offer 
funeral libations to both, and take possession of the immovable 
property (riktha) of both of them; of the same status as the 
kshetraja is he who is secretly begotten in the house of relatives 
and is called giidhaja, secretly born; the son cast off by his natural 
parents is called apaviddha and will belong to that man who 
performs necessary religious ceremonials to him; the son born of a 
maiden (before wedlock) is called kdnina; the son born of a woman 
married while carrying is called sahodha; the son of a remarried 
woman (punarbhdtdydh.) is called paunarbhava. A natural son can 
claim relationship both with his father and his father's relatives; but 
a son born to another man can have relationship only with his 
adopter. Of the same status as the latter is he who is given in 
adoption with water by both the father and mother and is called 
datta. The son who, either of his own accord or following the 
intention of his relatives, offers himself to be the son of another, is 
called upagata. He who is appointed as a son is called kritaka; and 
he who is purchased is called krita. 



236 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



On the birth of a natural son, savarna sons shall have l/3rd of 
inheritance while savarna sons shall have only food and clothing. 

Sons begotten by Brdhmans or Kshatriyas on women of next 
lower caste (anantardputrdh) are called savarnas; but on women 
of castes lower by two grades are called asavarnas. (Of such 
asavarna sons), the son begotten by a Brahman on a Vaisya 
woman is called Ambashtha; on a Siidra woman is called Nishdda 
or Pdrasava. The son begotten by a Kshatriya on a Sudra woman is 
known as Ugra; the son begotten by a Vaisya on a Sudra woman is 
no other than a Sudra. Sons begotten by men of impure life of any 
of the four castes on women of lower castes next to their own are 
called Vrdtyas. 

The above kinds of sons are called anuloma, sons begotten by men 
of higher on women of lower castes. 

Sons begotten by a Sudra on women of higher castes are 
Ayogava, Kshatta, and Chanddla; by a Vaisya, Mdgadha, and 
Vaidehaka; and by a Kshatriya, Suta. But men of the, names, Siita 
and Mdgadha, celebrated in the Purdnas, are quite different and of 
greater merit than either Brdhmans or Kshatriyas. The above kinds 
of sons are pratiloma, sons begotten by men of lower on women of 
higher castes, and originate on account of kings violating all 
dharmas. 

The son begotten by an Ugra on a Nishdda woman is called 
kukkuta and the same is called Pulkasa, if begotten in the inverse 
order. The son begotten by an Ambhashtha on a Vaidehaka woman 
is named Vaina; the same in the reverse order is called Kusilava. 
An Ugra begets on a Kshatta woman as vapdka. These and other 
sons are of mixed castes (Antardlas). 

A Vainya becomes a Rathakdra, chariot-maker, by 
profession. Members of this caste shall marry among themselves. 

237 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Both in customs and avocations they shall follow their ancestors. 
They may either become Sudras or embrace any other lower castes 
excepting Chanddlas. 

The king who guides his subjects in accordance with the 
above rules will attain to heaven; otherwise he will fall into the 
hell. 

Offsprings of mixed castes (Antardlas) shall have equal 
divisions of inheritance. 

* Partition of inheritance shall be made in accordance with 
the customs prevalent in the country, caste, guild (sangha), or the 
village of the inheritors. 

[Thus ends Chapter VII "Distinction between Sons" in the section 
of "Division of Inheritance" in Book III, "Concerning law" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of "Division of Inheritance". End of 
the sixty-fourth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER VIII. BUILDINGS. 

DISPUTES concerning Vdstu are dependent for settlement on 
the evidences to be furnished by people living in the 
neighbourhood. 

Houses, fields, gardens, building of any kind (setubandhah), 
lakes and tanks are each called Vdstu. 

The fastening of the roof of a house to the transverse beam by 
means of iron bolts is called setu (karna-kilaya-sabandho' 

238 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



nugriham setuh). In conformity to the stability of the setu, houses 
shall be constructed. Not encroaching upon what belongs to others, 
new houses may be constructed. 

Foundation (pade bandhah) shall be 2 aratnis by 3 padas. 
Except in the case of temporary structures for the confinement of 
women for ten days, all permanent houses shall be provided with a 
dunghill (avaskara), water course (bhrama), and a well 
(udapdnum). Violation of this rule shall be punished with the first 
amercement. 

The same rule shall hold good regarding the necessity of 
constructing closets, pits and water courses on festive occasions. 

From each house a water course of sufficient slope and 3 
padas or 11 aratnis long shall be so constructed that water shall 
either flow from it in a continuous line or fall from it (into the 
drain). 

Violation of this rule shall be punished with a fine of 54 
panas. 

Beginning with apada or an aratni, an apartment measuring 3 
padas by 4 padas shall be made for locating the fire for worship 
(agnishtham), or a waterbutt, (udanjaram), or a corn-mill 
(rochanim), or a mortar (kuttinin). 

Violation of this rule shall be punished with a fine of 24 
panas. 

Between any two houses or between the extended portions of 
any two houses, the intervening space shall be 4 padas, or 3 padas. 
The roofs of adjoining houses may either be 4 angulas apart, or one 
of them may cover the other. The front door (anidvdram) shall 

239 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



measure a kishku; there shall be no impediment inside the house for 
opening one or the other of the folds of the door. The upper story 
shall be provided with a small but high window. [If a 
(neighbouring) house is obstructed by it, the window should be 
closed.] The owners of houses may construct their houses in any 
other way they collectively like, but they shall avoid whatever is 
injurious. With a view to ward off the evil consequences of rain, 
the top of the roof (vdnalatyaschordhvam) shall be covered over 
with a broad mat, not blowable by the wind. Neither shall the roof 
be such as will easily bend or break. Violation of this rule shall be 
punished with the first amercement. The same punishment shall be 
meted out for causing annoyance by constructing doors or 
windows facing those of others houses except when these houses 
are separated by the king's road or the high road. 

If a pit, steps, water-course, ladder, dung-hill, or, any other 
parts of a house offer or cause annoyance to outsiders, or in any 
way obstruct the enjoyment of others (bhoganigrahe cha), or cause 
water to collect and thereby injure the wall of a neighbouring 
house, the owner shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas. If the 
annoyance is due to feces and urine, the fine shall be double the 
above. The water-course or gutter shall offer free passage for 
water; otherwise the fine shall be 12 panas. 

The same fine (12 panas) shall be meted out not only to a 
tenant who, though asked to evacuate, resides in the house, but also 
to the owner who forces out a renter who has paid his rent (from his 
house), unless the renter is involved in such acts as defamation, 
theft, robbery, abduction, or enjoyment with a false title. He who 
voluntarily evacuates a house shall pay the balance of the annual 
rent. 

If any one of a party does not take part in the construction of a 
building which is intended for the common use of all the members 
of that party or if any one obstructs another member of a party in 

240 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



making use of any part of such a building, he shall be fined 12 
panas. Similarly if any one mars another's enjoyment of such a 
building, he shall be fined double the above. 

* With the exception of private rooms and parlours, (angana) 
all other open parts of houses as well as apartments where fire is 
ever kindled for worship or a mortar is situated shall be thrown 
open for common use. 

[Thus ends Chapter VIII, "House-building" in the section of 
"Buildings" in Book III, "Concerning Law" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the sixty-fifth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IX. SALE OF BUILDINGS, BOUNDARY 
DISPUTES, DETERMINATION OF BOUNDARIES, AND 
MISCELLANEOUS HINDRANCES. 

RICH persons among kinsmen or neighbours shall in 
succession go for the purchase of land and other holdings. 
Neighbours of good family, forty in number and different from the 
purchasers above mentioned, shall congregate in front of the 
building for sale and announce it as such. Accurate description of 
the exact boundaries of fields, gardens, buildings of any kind, lakes 
or tanks shall be declared before the elders of the village or of the 
neighbourhood. If, on crying aloud thrice 'Who will purchase this 
at such and such a price'? no opposition is offered, the purchaser 
may proceed to purchase the holding in question. If at this time the 
value of the property is increased by bidding even among persons 
of the same community, the increased amount together with the toll 
on the value shall be handed over into the king's treasury. The 
bidder (yikrayapratikroshtd) shall pay the toll. Bidding for a 

241 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



property in the absence of its owner shall be punished with a fine of 
24 panas. If the owner does not come forward even on the 
expiration of seven nights, the bidder may take possession of the 
property. Sale of building, etc., (vdstu) to other than the bidder 
shall be punished with a fine of 200 panas; if the property is other 
than buildings, etc., (vdstu), the fine for the above offence shall be 
24 panas. Thus the sale of buildings is dealt with. 

(Boundary disputes.) 

In all disputes regarding the boundary between any two 
villages, neighbours or elders of five or ten villages (panchagrdmi 
dasagrdmi vd) shall investigate the case on the evidence to be 
furnished from natural or artificial boundary marks. 

Elders among cultivators and herdsmen, or outsiders who 
have had the experience of former possession in the place, or one 
or many persons (not) personally acquainted with the boundary 
marks under dispute shall first describe the boundary marks, and 
then, wearing unusual dress (viparitaveshah), shall lead the people 
(to the place). If the boundary marks just described are not found, a 
fine of 1,000 panas shall be imposed (on the misleading or guilty 
person). If, however, they arrive at the exact spot, the party who 
have either encroached upon the boundary or have destroyed the 
boundary marks shall be similarly punished. 

The king shall beneficially distribute among others those 
holdings which have no boundary-marks or which have ceased to 
be enjoyed by any person. 

(Disputes about fields.) 

Disputes concerning fields shall be decided by the elders of 
the neighbourhood or of the village. If they are divided in their 
opinions, decision shall be sought for from a number of pure and 

242 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



respectable people, or, the disputants may equally divide the 
disputed holding among themselves. If both of these methods fail, 
the holding (ydstu) under dispute shall be taken possession of by 
the king. The same rule shall hold good in the case of a holding for 
which no claimant is forthcoming; or it may beneficially be 
distributed among the people. Occupation of a holding (ydstu) by 
force shall be punished as theft. 

If a holding is taken possession of by another on some 
reasonable grounds, he shall be made to pay to the owner some 
rent, the amount of which is to be fixed after mature considerations 
of what is necessary for the subsistence of the cultivator of the 
holding by him. 

Encroachment upon boundaries shall be punished with the 
first amercement. Destruction of boundaries shall be punished with 
a fine of 24 panas. The same rules shall hold good in disputes 
concerning hermitage in forests, pasture lands, high roads, 
cremation-grounds, temples, sacrificial places, and places of 
pilgrimage. Thus the determination of boundaries is dealt with. 

(Miscellaneous hindrances.) 

All kinds of disputes shall depend for their settlement on the 
evidence to be furnished by neighbours. Of pasture lands, fields 
(keddra), flower gardens, a threshing-floor (khala), houses, and 
stables of horses (vdhanakoshtha), hindrance to any one coming 
first in order shall be removed in preference to the one or more 
coming later in the series. With the exception of people in forests 
of Brdhmans and of Soma-plants, temples, and places of sacrifice 
and pilgrimage, any person causing, while making use of a by-path 
to go to tanks, rivers, or fields, damage to the seeds sown in the 
fields of others, shall pay as much compensation to the sufferers as 
is equivalent to the damage. 

243 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



If the owner of any one of the following, viz., wet-fields, 
parks, or any kinds of buildings, causes damage to the rest owned 
by others, the fine shall be double the value of the damage. 

The water of a lower tank shall not submerge the field 
irrigated by a higher tank. 

The natural flow of water from a higher to a lower tank shall 
not be stopped unless the lower tank has ceased to be useful for 
three consecutive years. Violation of this rule shall be punished 
with the first amercement. The same punishment shall be meted 
out for emptying a tank of its water (tatdkavdmanam cha). 
Buildings of any kind (setubandha), neglected for five consecutive 
years shall be forfeited, except in calamities. 

(Remission of taxes.) 

In the case of construction of new works, such as tanks, lakes, 
etc., taxes (on the lands below such tanks) shall be remitted for five 
years (panchavdrshikah parihdrah). For repairing neglected or 
ruined works of similar nature, taxes shall be remitted for four 
years. For improving or extending water-works, taxes shall be 
remitted for three years. In the case of acquiring such newly started 
works by mortgage or purchase, taxes on the lands below such 
works shall be remitted for two years. If uncultivated tracts are 
acquired (for cultivation) by mortgage, purchase or in any other 
way, remission of taxes shall be for two years. Out of crops grown 
by irrigation by means of wind power or bullocks 
(vdtapravartimanandinibandhdyatana) or below tanks, in fields, 
parks, flower gardens, or in any other way, so much of the produce 
as would not entail hardship on the cultivators may be given to the 
Government. Persons who cultivate the lands below tanks, etc., of 
others at a stipulated price (prakraya), or for annual rent 
(avakraya), or for certain number of shares of the crops grown 

244 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(bhdga) or persons who are permitted to enjoy such lands free of 
rent of any kind, shall keep the tanks, etc., in good repair; otherwise 
they shall be punished with a fine of double the loss. 

* Persons, letting out the water of tanks, etc., at any other 
place than their sluice gate (apdre), shall pay a fine of 6 panas; and 
persons who recklessly obstruct the flow of water from the 
sluice-gate of tanks shall also pay the same fine. 

[Thus ends Chapter IX, "Sale of buildings, boundary disputes, 
determination of boundaries, and miscellaneous hindrances" in the 
section of "Buildings" in Book III, "Concerning Law" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the sixty- sixth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER X. DESTRUCTION OF PASTURE-LANDS, 
FIELDS AND ROADS, AND NON-PERFORMANCE OF 
AGREEMENTS. 

PERSONS who obstruct, or make any kind of mischief with 
the flow of water intended for cultivation shall be punished with 
the first amercement. Construction in the sites belonging to others, 
of any buildings with a view to attract pilgrims thereto, of abodes 
of worship (chaitya), or of temples of gods; as also the sale or 
mortgage, or causing the sale or mortgage, of any long continued 
charitable building (purvdnuvrittam dharmasetum) shall be 
punished with the middlemost amercement. Those who are 
witnesses to such transactions shall be punished with the highest 
amercement excepting in the case of neglected or ruined buildings. 
In the absence of claimants to dilapidated religious buildings, 
villagers (grdmdh), or charitable people (punyasildva) may repair 
them. 



245 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(Blocking the roads.) 

Forms of roads and paths have been dealt with in connection 
with the construction of forts. (First Chapter, Book II). 

Obstruction to roads for inferior beasts or men shall be 
punished with a fine of 12 panas; to roads for superior beasts 24 
panas; to roads for elephants or to those leading to fields, 54 panas; 
to those leading to any buildings or forests (setuvanapatham), 600 
panas; to those for burial grounds or villages, 200 panas; to those 
for dronamukha, a fortress, 500 panas; and those leading to 
sthdniya, country parts, or pasture grounds, 1,000 panas. The same 
fines shall be meted out in case of ploughing the several roads too 
deep (atikarshane chaishdm); and V4th of the same fines for 
ploughing merely on their surface. 

If a cultivator or a neighbour makes encroachment upon a 
field during the time of sowing seeds, he shall be fined 12 panas, 
unless the encroachment is due to evils, calamities or intolerable 
occurrences arising otherwise from the field (anyatra 
doshopanipatdvishahyebhyah) . 

(Settling in villages.) 

Taxpayers shall sell or mortgage their fields to taxpayers 
alone; Brdhmans shall sell or mortgage their Brahmadaya or gifted 
lands only to those who are endowed with such lands; otherwise 
they shall be punished with the first amercement. The same 
punishment shall be meted out to a taxpayer who settles in a village 
not inhabited by taxpayers. If a taxpayer takes the place of another 
taxpayer, he shall enjoy all the holdings but the house of the latter. 
Even the house may be given to the new settler. If a person 
cultivates an inalienable land of another person who does not 
cultivate it, such a person shall restore the same after five years 

246 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



enjoyment on taking a certain amount of compensation equivalent 
to the improvement he made on the lands. Persons who are not 
taxpayers and who sojourn abroad shall retain the right of 
ownership (bhogam) of their lands. 

(The Head-man of the village.) 

When the head-man of a village has to travel on account of 
any business of the whole village, the villagers shall by turns 
accompany him. 

Those who cannot do this shall pay Wi panas for every 
yojana. If the headman of a village sends out of the village any 
person except a thief, or an adulterer, he shall be punished with a 
fine of 24 panas, and the villagers with the first amercement (for 
doing the same). 

Re-entrance into a village for a person previously sent out of 
it (nirastasya), is explained by 'settlement of persons in villages' 
(treated of above). 

At a distance of 800 angulas around every village, an 
enclosure with timber posts shall be constructed. 

(Trespassing cattle.) 

Pasture lands, plains, and forests may be availed of for 
grazing cattle. 

For camels or buffaloes allowed to stray after grazing in 
pasture grounds, the fine shall be 14th of a pana; for cows, horses, 
or asses, l/8th of a pana; for inferior quadrupeds l/16th of a pana; 
and for cattle found lying thereon after grazing, fines shall be 
double the above; for cattle ever found to live in the vicinity of 
pasture grounds, the fines shall be four times the above. 

247 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Bulls, let out in the name of the village deity 
(grdmadevavrishah), cows which have not passed ten days inside 
the enclosure after calving, or bulls or bullocks kept for crossing 
cows shall not be punished. If crops are eaten away by animals, the 
owner or owners of them shall, if proved guilty, be made to pay 
twice as much as the loss. Persons driving their cattle through a 
field without intimating the owner shall be fined 12 panas. Any 
person who allows his cattle to stray shall be fined 24 panas; 
cowherds doing the same with the cattle under their care shall be 
fined half the above. The same punishment shall be meted out for 
letting cattle graze in flower gardens. For breaking the fence of 
fields, the punishment shall be double the above. If cattle are 
allowed to stray and eat the grains stored in houses, a threshing 
floor, or a court yard, the owners of the cattle shall pay adequate 
compensation. If beasts maintained in reserve-forests are found 
grazing in a field, they shall be brought to the notice of the forest 
officers and the beasts shall be driven out without being hurt or 
killed. Stray cattle shall be driven out by the use of ropes or whips. 
Persons hurting them in any way shall be liable to the punishment 
for assault or violence. Persons who invite (cattle to graze in the 
fields of others) or who are caught while committing such offences 
shall by all means be put down. Thus the destruction of pasture 
lands, fields, and roads is dealt with. 

(Non-performance of agreement.) 

The fine levied on a cultivator who arriving at a village for 
work, does not work shall be taken by the village itself. He shall 
refund not only double the amount of the wages he received 
promising to work, but also double the value of food and drink with 
which he has been provided. If the work is one of sacrificial 
performance (prahavaneshu), then also he shall pay double the 
amount of the wages. Any person who does not cooperate in the 
work of preparation for a public show, shall, together with his 

248 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



family, forfeit his right to enjoy the show (prekshd). If a man who 
has not cooperated in preparing for a public play or spectacle is 
found hearing or witnessing it under hiding, or if any one refuses to 
give his aid in a work beneficial to all, he shall be compelled to pay 
double the value of the aid due from him. The order of any person 
attempting to do a work beneficial to all shall be obeyed. 
Disobedience in such a case shall be punished with a fine of 12 
panas. If others unitedly beat or hurt such a person so ordering, 
each of them shall pay double the amount of the fine usually levied 
for such offence. If among the above offenders one is a Brahman or 
a person superior to a Brahman, he shall first be punished. If a 
Brahman does not take part in the combined performance of any 
sacrifice of his village, he shall not be violated, but may be 
persuaded to pay a share. 

The above rules shall also apply to non-performance of 
agreements among countries (desa), castes, families, and 
assemblies. 

* Those who, with their united efforts construct on roads 
buildings of any kind (setubandha) beneficial to the whole country 
and who not only adorn their villages, but also keep watch on them 
shall be shown favourable concessions by the king. 

[Thus ends Chapter X "Destruction of pasture lands, fields, and 
roads," in the section of "Buildings" in Book III, "Concerning 
Law" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya; end of "Buildings"; and of 
non-performance of agreements.' End of the sixty- seventh chapter 
from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XI. RECOVERY OF DEBTS. 

249 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



AN interest of apana and a quarter per month per cent is just. 
Five panas per month per cent is commercial interest 
(vydvahdriki). Ten panas per month per cent prevails among 
forests. Twenty panas per month per cent prevails among 
sea- traders (sdmudrdndm). Persons exceeding, or causing to 
exceed the above rate of interest shall be punished with the first 
amercement; and hearers of such transactions shall each pay half of 
the above fine. 

The nature of the transactions between creditors and debtors, 
on which the welfare of the kingdom depends, shall always be 
scrutinised. Interest in grains in seasons of good harvest shall not 
exceed more than half when valued in money. Interest on stocks 
(prakshepa) shall be one-half of the profit and be regularly paid as 
each year expires. If it is allowed to accumulate owing either to the 
intention or to the absence abroad (of the receiver or payer), the 
amount payable shall be equal to twice the share or principal 
(miilyadvigunah). A person claiming interest when it is not due, or 
representing as principal the total amount of his original principal 
and the interest thereon shall pay a fine of four times the amount 
under dispute (bandhachaturgunah). 

A creditor who sues for four times the amount lent by him 
shall pay a fine of four times the unjust amount. 

Of this fine, the creditor shall pay %ths and the debtor 14th. 
Interest on debts due from persons who are engaged in sacrifices 
taking a long time (dirghasatra), or who are suffering from 
disease, or who are detained in the houses of their teachers (for 
learning), or who are either minors or too poor, shall not 
accumulate. 

A creditor refusing to receive the payment of his debt shall 
pay a fine of 12 panas. If the refusal is due to some (reasonable) 

250 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



cause, then the amount free from interest (for subsequent time) 
shall be kept in the safe custody of others. Debts neglected for ten 
years, except in the case of minors, aged persons, diseased persons, 
persons involved in calamities, or persons who are sojourning 
abroad or have fled the country and except in the case of 
disturbances in the kingdom (rdjyavibhrama), shall not be received 
back. 

Sons of a deceased debtor shall pay the principal with interest 
(kusidam). (In the absence of sons), kinsmen claiming the share of 
the dead man or sureties, such as joint partners of the debt, 
(sahagrdhinah pratibhuvo vd) shall pay the same. No other kind of 
surety is valid (na prdtibhdvyamanyat); a minor, as surety, is 
inefficient (bdlaprdtibhavyam asdram = surety of a minor is not 
strong). 

A debt, the payment of which is not limited by time or place 
or both (asamkhydtadesakdlam), shall be paid by the sons, 
grandsons or any other heirs of the dead debtor. Any debt, the 
payment of which is not limited by time or place or both and for 
which life, marriage, or land is pledged, shall be borne by sons or 
grandsons. 

(Regarding many debts against one.) 

Excepting the case of a debtor going abroad, no debtor shall 
simultaneously be sued for more than one debt by one or two 
creditors. Even in the case of a debtor going abroad, he shall pay 
his debts in the order in which he borrowed them or shall first pay 
his debts due to the king or a learned Brahman. 

Debts contracted from each other by either a husband or wife, 
either a son or a father, or by any one among brothers of undivided 
interests shall be irrecoverable. 

251 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Cultivators or government servants shall not be caught hold 
of for debts while they are engaged in their duties (or at work). 

A wife, though she has (not) heard of the debt (pratisrdvani), 
shall not be caught hold of for the debt contracted by her husband, 
excepting in the case of herdsmen and joint cultivators 
(gopdlakdrdhasitikebhyah). But a husband may be caught for the 
debt contracted by his wife. If it is admitted that a man fled the 
country without providing for the debt contracted by his wife, the 
highest amercement shall be meted out; if not admitted, witnesses 
shall be depended upon. 

(Witnesses.) 

It is obligatory to produce three witnesses who are reliable, 
honest and respected. At least two witnesses acceptable to the 
parties are necessary; never one witness in the case of debts. 

Wife's brothers, copartners, prisoners (dbaddha), creditors, 
debtors, enemies, maintained persons, or persons once punished by 
the Government shall not be taken as witnesses. Likewise persons 
legally unfit to carry on transactions, the king, persons learned in 
the Vedas, persons depending for their maintenance on villages 
(grdmabhritaka), lepers, persons suffering from bodily erruptions, 
outcast persons, persons of mean avocation, the blind, the deaf, the 
dumb, egotistic persons, females, or government servants shall not 
be taken as witnesses excepting in the case of transactions in one's 
own community. In dispute concerning assault, theft, or abduction, 
persons other than wife's brothers, enemies, and co-partners, can be 
witnesses. In secret dealings, a single woman or a single man who 
has stealthily heard or seen them can be a witness, with the 
exception of the king or an ascetic. On the side of prosecution 
masters against servants, priests or teachers against their disciples, 
and parents against their sons can be witnesses 

252 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(nigrahanasdkshyam kuryuh); Persons other than these may also 
be witnesses in criminal cases. If the above persons (masters and 
servants, etc.) sue each other (paraspardbhiyoge), they shall be 
punished with the highest amercement. Creditors guilty of parokta 
shall pay a fine of 10 times the amount (dasabandha) but if 
incapable to pay so much, they shall at least pay five times the 
amount sued for (panchabandham); thus the section on witnesses 
is dealt with. 

(Taking oaths.) 

Witness shall be taken before Brdhmans, vessels of water 
and fire. A Brahman witness shall be told 'Tell the truth'; a 
Kshatriya or a Vaisya witness shall be told thus:— 'If thou utterest 
falsehood, thou, do not attain the fruit of thy sacrificial and 
charitable deeds; but having broken the array of thy enemies in 
war, thou, do go a beggar with a skull in thy hand. ' 

A Sudra witness thus:— 'Whatever thy merits are, in thy 
former birth or after thy death, shall they go to the king and 
whatever sins the king may have committed, shall they go to thee, 
if thou utterest falsehood; fines also shall be levied on thee, for 
facts as they have been heard or seen will certainly be subsequently 
revealed.' 

If in the course of seven nights, witnesses are found to have 
unanimously made a false consert among themselves, a fine of 12 
panas shall be levied. If they are thus found in the course of three 
fortnights, they shall pay the amount sued for (abhiyogam dadyuh). 

If witnesses differ, judgment may be given in accordance with 
the statements of a majority of pure and respectable witnesses; or 
the mean of their statements may be followed; or the amount under 
dispute may be taken by the king. If witnesses give testimony for a 
less amount, the plaintiff shall pay a fine proportional to the 

253 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



increased amount; if they attest to a greater amount, the excess 
shall go to the king. In cases where the plaintiff proves himself 
stupid, or where bad hearing (on the part of witnesses at the time of 
the transaction) or bad writing is the cause of difficulty, or where 
the debtor is dead, the evidence of witnesses alone shall be 
depended on (sdkshipratyayameva sydt). 

"Only," say the followers of Usanas, "in those cases where 
witnesses prove themselves to have been stupid or senseless and 
where the investigation of the place, time or nature of the 
transaction is of no avail, the three amercements shall be levied." 

"False witnesses," say the followers of Manu, "shall be fined 
ten times the amount which, no matter whether it is true or false, 
they cause to be lost." 

"If," say the followers of Brihaspati, "owing to their having 
been stupid, they render a case suspicious, they shall be tortured to 
death." 

"No" says Kautilya:— It is the truth that witnesses have to hear 
(when they are called to attest to any transaction); if they have not 
minded it, they shall be fined 24 panas; if they have attested to a 
false case (without scrutinising), they shall be fined half of the 
above fine. 

* Parties shall themselves produce witnesses who are not far 
removed either by time or place; witnesses who are very far 
removed either by time or place; witnesses who are very far, or 
who will not, stir out, shall be made to present themselves by the 
order of the judges. 

[Thus ends Chapter XI, "Recovery of debts" in Book III, 
"Concerning Law" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 

254 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



sixty-eighth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XII. CONCERNING DEPOSITS. 

THE rules concerning debts shall also apply to deposits. 
Whenever forts or country parts are destroyed by enemies or wild 
tribes; whenever villages, merchants, or herds of cattle are 
subjected to the inroads of invaders; whenever the kingdom itself is 
destroyed; whenever extensive fires or floods bring about entire 
destruction of villages, or partly destroy immovable properties, 
movable properties having been rescued before; whenever the 
spread of fire or rush of floods is so sudden that even movable 
properties could not be removed; or whenever a ship laden with 
commodities is either sunk or plundered (by pirates); deposits lost 
in any of the above ways shall not be reclaimed. The depositary 
who has made use of the deposit for his own comfort shall not only 
pay a compensation (bhogavetanam) to be fixed after considering 
the circumstances of the place and time but also a fine of Ylpanas. 
Not only shall any loss in the value of the deposit, due to its use, be 
made good, but a fine of 24 panas also be paid. Deposits damaged 
or lost in any way shall also be made good. When the depositary is 
either dead or involved in calamities, the deposit shall not be sued 
for. If the deposit is either mortgaged or sold or lost, the depositary 
shall not only restore four times its value, but pay a fine of five 
times the stipulated value (pancbabandho dandah). If the deposit is 
exchanged for a similar one (by the depositary), or lost in any other 
way, its value shall be paid. 

(Pledges.) 

The same rules shall hold good in the case of pledges 

255 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



whenever they are lost, used up, sold, mortgaged, or 
misappropriated. 

A pledge, if productive, i.e. (a usufructary mortgage), shall 
never be lost to the debtor (nddhissopakdrassidet), nor shall any 
interest on the debt be charged; but if unproductive (i.e., 
hypothecation), it may be lost, and interest on the debt shall 
accumulate. The pledgee who does not re-convey the pledge when 
the debtor is ready for it shall be fined Ylpanas. 

In the absence of the creditor or mediator 
(prayojahdsannidhdna), the amount of the debt may be kept in the 
custody of the elders of the village and the debtor may have the 
pledged property redeemed; or with its value fixed at the time and 
with no interest chargeable for the future, the pledge may be left 
where it is. When there is any rise in the value of the pledge or 
when it is apprehended that it may be depriciated or lost in the near 
future, the pledgee may, with permission from the judges 
(dharmasthas), or on the evidence furnished by the officer in 
charge of pledges (ddhipdlapratyayo vd), sell the pledge either in 
the presence of the debtor or under the presidency of experts who 
can see whether such apprehension is justified. 

An immovable property, pledged and enjoyable with or 
without labour (praydsabhogyhah phalabhogyovd), shall not be 
caused to deteriorate in value while yielding interest on the money 
lent, and profit on the expenses incurred in maintaining it. 

The pledgee who enjoys the pledge without permission shall 
not only pay the net profit he derived from it, but also forfeit the 
debt. The rules regarding deposits shall hold good in other matters 
connected with pledges. 

(Property entrusted to another for delivery to a third person.) 

256 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The same rules shall apply to orders (ddesa), and property 
entrusted for delivery to a third person (anvddhi). 

If, through a merchant, a messenger is entrusted with a 
property for delivery to a third person (anvddhihasta) and such 
messenger does not reach the destined place, or is robbed of the 
property by thieves, the merchant shall not be responsible for it; 
nor shall a kinsman of the messenger who dies on his way be 
responsible for the property. 

For the rest, the rules regarding deposits shall also hold good 

here. 

(Borrowed or hired properties.) 

Properties either borrowed (ydchitakam) or hired 
(avakritakam) shall be returned as intact as they were when 
received. If owing to distance in time or place, or owing to some 
inherent defects of the properties or to some unforeseen accidents, 
properties either borrowed or hired are lost or destroyed, they need 
not be made good. The rules regarding deposits shall also apply 
here. 

(Retail sale.) 

Retail dealers, selling the merchandise of others at prices 
prevailing at particular localities and times shall hand over to the 
wholesale dealers as much of the sale proceeds and profit as is 
realised by them. The rules regarding pledges shall also apply here. 
If owing to distance in time or place there occurs any fall in the 
value of the merchandise, the retail dealers shall pay the value and 
profit at that rate which obtained when they received the 
merchandise. 

Servants selling commodities at prices prescribed by their 

257 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



masters shall realise no profit. They shall only return the actual sale 
proceeds. If prices fall, they shall pay only as much of the sale 
proceeds as is realised at the low rate. 

But such merchants as belong to trade-guilds 
(samvyavaharikeshu) or are trustworthy and are not condemned by 
the king need not restore even the value of that merchandise which 
is lost or destroyed owing to its inherent defects or to some 
unforeseen accidents. But of such merchandise as is distanced by 
time or place, they shall restore as much value and profit as 
remains after making allowance for the wear and tear of the 
merchandise. 

For the rest the rules regarding deposits shall apply here. It explains 

retail sale. 

(Sealed deposits.) 

The rules laid down concerning unsealed deposits (upanidhis) 
shall apply to sealed deposits also. A man handing over a sealed 
deposit to other than the real depositor shall be punished. In the 
case of a depositary's denial of having received a deposit, the 
antecedent circumstances (piirvdpaddnam) of the deposit and (the 
character and social position of) the depositor are the only 
evidences. Artisans (kdravah) are naturally of impure character. It 
is not an approved custom with them to deposit for some reliable 
reason. 

When a depositary denies having received a sealed deposit 
which was not, however, deposited for any reasonable cause, the 
depositor may obtain secret permission (from the judges) to 
produce such witnesses as he might have stationed under a wall 
(gudhabhitti) while depositing. 

In the midst of a forest or in the middle of a voyage an old or 

258 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



afflicted merchant might with confidence put in the custody of a 
depositary some valuable article with certain secret mark, and go 
on his way. On his sending this information to his son or brother, 
the latter may ask for the sealed deposit. If the depositary does not 
quietly return it, he shall not only forfeit his credit, but be liable to 
the punishment for theft besides being made to restore the deposit. 

A reliable man, bent on leaving this world and becoming an 
ascetic, may place a certain sealed deposit with some secret mark 
in the custody of a man, and, returning after a number of years, ask 
for it. If the depositary dishonestly denies it, he shall not only be 
made to restore it, but be liable to the punishment for theft. 

A childish man with a sealed deposit with some secret mark 
may, while going through a street at night, feel frightened at his 
being captured by the police for untimely walking, and, placing the 
deposit in the custody of a man, go on his way. But subsequently 
put into the jail, he may ask for it. If the depositary dishonestly 
denies, he shall not only be made to restore it, but be liable to the 
punishment for theft. 

By recognising the sealed deposit in the custody of a man, any 
one of the depositor's family may probably ask not only for the 
deposit, but also for information as to the whereabouts of the 
depositor. If the custodian denies either, he shall be treated as 
before. 

In all these cases, it is of first importance to inquire how the 
property under dispute came in one's possession, what are the 
circumstances connected with the various transactions concerning 
the property and what is the status of the plantiff in society as to 
wealth (arthasdmarthyam). 

The above rules shall also apply to all kinds of transaction 

259 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



between any two persons (mithassamavdyah). 

* Hence before witnesses and with no secrecy whatever, 
shall all kinds of agreements be entered into; either with one's own 
or different people, shall the circumstances of the time and place be 
minutely considered first. 

[Thus ends Chapter XII "Concerning Deposits" in Book III, 
"Concernig Law" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
sixty-ninth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIII. RULES REGARDING SLAVES AND 
LABOURERS. 

THE selling or mortgaging by kinsmen of the life of a Sudra 
who is not a born slave, and has not attained majority, but is an 
Arya in birth shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas; of a Vaisya, 
24 panas; of a Kshatriya, 36 panas; and of a Brahman, 48 panas. If 
persons other than kinsmen do the same, they shall be liable to the 
three amercements and capital punishment respectively: 
purchasers and abettors shall likewise be punished. It is no crime 
for Mlechchhas to sell or mortgage the life of their own offspring. 
But never shall an Arya be subjected to slavery. 

But if in order to tide over family troubles, to find money for 
fines or court decrees, or to recover the (confiscated) household 
implements, the life of an Arya is mortgaged, they (his kinsmen) 
shall as soon as possible redeem him (from bondage); and more so 
if he is a youth or an adult capable of giving help. 

Any person who has once voluntarily enslaved himself shall, 

260 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



if guilty of an offence (nishpatitah), be a slave for life. Similarly, 
any person whose life has been twice mortgaged by others shall, if 
guilty of an offence, be a slave for life. Both of these two sorts of 
men shall, if they are once found desirous to run away to foreign 
countries, be slaves for life. 

Deceiving a slave of his money or depriving him of the 
privileges he can exercise as an Arya (Aryabhava), shall be 
punished with half the fine (levied for enslaving the life of an 
Arya). 

A man who happens to have taken in mortgage the life of a 
convict, or of a dead or an afflicted man shall be entitled to receive 
back (from the mortgager) the value he paid for the slave. 

Employing a slave to carry the dead or to sweep ordure, urine, 
or the leavings of food; keeping a slave naked; or hurting or 
abusing him; or violating (the chastity of) a female slave shall 
cause the forfeiture of the value paid for him or her. Violation (of 
the chastity) of nurses, female cooks, or female servants of the 
class of joint cultivators or of any other description shall at once 
earn their liberty for them. Violence towards an attendant of high 
birth shall entitle him to run away. When a master has connection 
with a nurse or pledged female slave against her will, he shall be 
punished with the first amercement; a stranger doing the same shall 
be punished with the middlemost amercement. When a man 
commits or helps another to commit rape with a girl or a female 
slave pledged to him, he shall not only forfeit the purchase value, 
but also pay a certain amount of money (sulka) to her and a fine of 
twice the amount (of sulka to the Government). 

The offspring of a man who has sold off himself as a slave 
shall be an Arya. A slave shall be entitled to enjoy not only 
whatever he has earned without prejudice to his master's work, but 

261 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



also the inheritance he has received from his father. 

On paying the value (for which one is enslaved), a slave shall 
regain his Aryahood. The same rule shall apply either to born or 
pledged slaves. 

The ransom necessary for a slave to regain his freedom is 
equal to what he has been sold for. Any person who has been 
enslaved for fines or court decrees (dandapranitah) shall earn the 
amount by work. An Arya, made captive in war shall for his 
freedom pay a certain amount proportional to the dangerous work 
done at the time of his capture, or half the amount. 

If a slave who is less than eight years old and has no relatives, 
no matter whether he is born a slave in his master's house, or fell to 
his master's share of inheritance, or has been purchased or obtained 
by his master in any other way, is employed in mean avocations 
against his will or is sold or mortgaged in a foreign land; or if a 
pregnant female slave is sold or pledged without any provision for 
her confinement, his or her master shall be punished with the first 
amercement. The purchaser and abettors shall likewise be 
punished. 

Failure to set a slave at liberty on the receipt of a required 
amount of ransom shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas; 
putting a slave under confinement for no reason 
(samrodhaschdkarandt) shall likewise be punished. 

The property of a slave shall pass into the hands of his 
kinsmen; in the absence of any kinsmen, his master shall take it. 

When a child is begotten on a female slave by her master, 
both the child and its mother shall at once be recognised as free. If 
for the sake of subsistence, the mother has to remain in her 

262 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



bondage, her brother and sister shall be liberated. 

Selling or mortgaging the life of a male or a female slave once 
liberated shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas with the 
exception of those who enslave themselves. Thus the rules 
regarding slaves. 

(Power of Masters over their hired servants.) 

Neighbours shall know the nature of agreement between a 
master and his servant. The servant shall get the promised wages. 
As to wages not previously settled the amount shall be fixed in 
proportion to the work done and the time spent in doing it 
(karmakdldnurupam = at the rate prevailing at the time.) Wages 
being previously unsettled, a cultivator shall obtain l/10th of the 
crops grown, a herdsman l/10th of the butter clarified, a trader 
l/10th of the sale proceeds. Wages previously settled shall be paid 
and received as agreed upon. 

Artisans, musicians, physicians, buffoons, cooks, and other 
workmen, serving of their own accord, shall obtain as much wages 
as similar persons employed elsewhere usually get or as much as 
experts (kusaldh) shall fix. 

Disputes regarding wages shall be decided on the strength of 
evidences furnished by witnesses. In the absence of witnesses, the 
master who has provided his servant with work shall be examined. 
Failure to pay wages shall be punished with a fine of ten times the 
amount of wages (dasabandhah), or 6 panas; misappropriation of 
wages shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas or of five times the 
amount of the wages (panchabandho vd). 

Any person who, while he is being carried away by floods, or 
is caught in a fire, or is in danger from elephants or tigers, is 
rescued on his promise to offer to his rescuer not only the whole of 

263 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



his property, but also his sons, wife, and himself as slaves, shall 
pay only as much as will be fixed by experts. This rule shall apply 
to all cases where help of any kind is rendered to the afflicted. 

* A public woman shall surrender her person as agreed upon; 
but insistence on the observance of any agreement which is 
ill-considered and improper shall not succeed. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIII, "Rules regarding slaves" in the section of 
"Rules regarding slaves" and the "Right of Masters" in the section 
of "Rules regarding Labourers" in Book III, "Concerning Law" of 
the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the seventieth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIV. RULES REGARDING LABOURERS; AND 
CO-OPERATIVE UNDERTAKING. 

A servant neglecting or unreasonably putting off work for 
which he has received wages shall be fined 12 panas and be 
caught-hold of till the work is done. He who is incapable to turn out 
work, or is engaged to do a mean job, or is suffering from disease, 
or is involved in calamities shall be shown some concession or 
allowed to get the work done by a substitute. The loss incurred by 
his master or employer owing to such delay shall be made good by 
extra work. 

An employer may be at liberty to get the work done by 
(another) provided there is no such adverse condition that the 
former shall not employ another servant to execute the work, nor 
shall the latter go elsewhere for work. 



264 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



An employer not taking work from his labourer or an 
employee not doing his employers work shall be fined 12 panas. 
An employee who has received wages to do a certain work which is 
however, not brought to termination shall not, of his own accord, 
go elsewhere for work. 

My preceptor holds that not taking work on the part of an 
employer from his employee when the latter is ready, shall be 
regarded as work done by the labourer. 

But Kautilya objects to it; for wages are to be paid for work 
done, but not for work that is not done. If an employer, having 
caused his labourer to do a part of work, will not cause him to do 
the rest for which the latter may certainly be ready, then also the 
unfinished portion of the work has to be regarded as finished. But 
owing to consideration of changes that have occurred in time and 
place or owing to bad workmanship of the labourer, the employer 
may not be pleased with what has already been turned out by the 
labourer. Also the workman may, if unrestrained, do more than 
agreed upon and thereby cause loss to the employer. 

The same rules shall apply to guilds of workmen 
(sanghabhritdh.) 

Guilds of workmen shall have a grace of seven nights over 
and above the period agreed upon for fulfilling their engagement. 
Beyond that time they shall find substitutes and get the work 
completed. Without taking permission from their employer, they 
shall neither leave out anything undone nor carry away anything 
with them from the place of work. They shall be fined 24 panas for 
taking away anything and 12 panas for leaving out anything 
undone. Thus the Rules regarding labourers. 

Guilds of workmen (sanghabhritdh, workmen employed by 
Companies) as well as those who carry on any cooperative work 

265 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(sambhuya samutthdtarah) shall divide their earnings (vetanam = 
wages) either equally or as agreed upon among themselves. 

Cultivators or merchants shall, either at the end or in the 
middle of their cultivation or manufacture, pay to their labourers as 
much of the latter's share as is proportional to the work done. If the 
labourers, giving up work in the middle, supply substitutes, they 
shall be paid their wages in full. 

But when commodities are being manufactured, wages shall 
be paid out according to the amount of work turned out; for such 
payment does not affect the favourable or unfavourable results on 
the way (i.e., in the sale of merchandise by peddlars). 

A healthy person who deserts his company after work has 
been begun shall be fined 12 panas; for none shall, of his own 
accord, leave his company. Any person who is found to have 
neglected his share of work by stealth shall be shown mercy 
(abhayam) for the first time and given a proportional quantity of 
work anew with promise of proportional share of earnings as well. 
In case of negligence for a second time or of going elsewhere, he 
shall be thrown out of the Company (pravdsanam). If he is guilty 
of a glaring offence (mahdparddhe), he shall be treated as the 
condemned. 

(Co-operation in sacrificial acts.) 

Priests cooperating in a sacrifice shall divide their earnings 
either equally or as agreed upon excepting what is especially due to 
each or any of them. If a priest employed in such sacrifices as 
Agnishtoma, etc., dies after the ceremony of consecration, (his 
claimant) shall get l/5th of the promised or prescribed present 
(dakshind); after the ceremony consecrating the purchase of Soma, 
l Mh of the present; after the ceremony called Madhyamopasad; or 

266 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Pravargyodvdsana, l/3rd of the present; and after the ceremony 
called Maya, Vi of the share. If in the sacrifice called Sutya, the 
same thing happens after the ceremony called Prdtassavana, %ths, 
of the share shall be paid; after the ceremony called Madhyandina, 
the present shall be paid in full; for by that time the payment of 
presents shall be over. In every sacrifice except the one called 
Brihaspatisavana, it is usual to pay presents. The same rule shall 
apply to the presents payable in Aharganas, sacrifices so called. 

The surviving priests carrying the balance of the present or 
any other relatives of a dead priest shall perform the funeral 
ceremony of the dead for ten days and nights. 

If the sacrificer himself (he who has instituted the sacrifice) 
dies, then the remaining priests shall complete the sacrifice and 
carry away the presents. If a sacrificer sends out any priest before 
completing the sacrifice, he shall be punished with the first 
amercement. If a sacrificer sending out a priest happens to be a 
person who has not kept the sacrificial fire, or to be a preceptor or 
one who has already performed sacrifices, then the fines shall be 
100, 1000, and 1000 panas respectively. 

* As it is certain that sacrificial merits fall in value when 
performed in company with a drunkard, the husband of a Sudra 
woman, a murderer of a Brahman, or one who has violated the 
chastify of the wife of his preceptor, a receiver of condemnable 
gifts, or is a thief, or one whose performance of sacrificial acts is 
condemnable, it is no offence to send out such a priest. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIV, "Rules regarding labourers, and 
Co-operative undertaking" in the section of "Rules regarding 
slaves and labourers," in Book III, "Concerning Law" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the seventy-first chapter from the 
beginning.] 



267 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER XV. RESCISSION OF PURCHASE AND SALE. 

A merchant refusing to give his merchandise that he has sold 
shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas, unless the merchandise is 
naturally bad, or is dangerous, or is intolerable. 

That which has inherent defects is termed naturally bad; 
whatever is liable to be confiscated by the king, or is subject to 
destruction by thieves, fire, or floods is termed as being dangerous; 
and whatever is devoid of all good qualities, or is manufactured by 
the deceased is called intolerable. 

Time for rescission of a sale is one night for merchants; 3 
nights for cultivators; 5 nights for herdsmen; and with regard to the 
sale or barter of precious things and articles of mixed qualities 
(vivrittivikraye), 7 nights. 

Merchandise which is likely to perish sooner may, if there is 
no loss to others, be shown the favour of early disposal by 
prohibiting the sale elsewhere of similar merchandise which is not 
likely to perish so soon. Violation of this rule shall be punished 
with a fine of 24 panas or l/10th of the value of the merchandise 
sold against this rule. 

A person who attempts to return an article purchased by him 
shall if the article is other than what is naturally bad, or is 
dangerous, or is intolerable, be punished with a fine of 12 panas. 
The same rescission rules that apply to a seller shall apply to the 
purchaser also. 
(Marriage Contracts) 

[As regards marriages among the three higher castes, 
rejection of a bride before the rite of pdnigrahana, clasping of 

268 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



hands, is valid; likewise among the Sudras, observing religious 
rites. Even in the case of a couple that has gone through the rite of 
pdnigrahana,] rejection of a bride whose guilt of having lain with 
another man has been afterwards detected is valid. But never so in 
the case of brides and bridegrooms of pure character and high 
family. Any person who has given a girl in marriage without 
announcing her guilt of having lain with another shall not only be 
punished with a fine of 96 panas, but also be made to return the 
sulka and stridhana. Any person receiving a girl in marriage 
without announcing the blemishes of the bridegroom shall not only 
pay double the above fine, but also forfeit the sulka and stridhana 
(he paid for the bride). 

(Sale of bipeds, etc.) 

Sale of bipeds and quadrupeds as strong, healthy, and clean 
though they are either unclean or actually suffering from leprosy 
and other diseases, shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas. The 
time of rescission of sale is three fortnights for quadrupeds and one 
year for men; for it is possible to know by that time their good or 
bad condition. 

* An assembly convened for the purpose shall, in the matter 
of rescending sales or gifts, decide in such a way that neither the 
giver nor the receiver shall be injured thereby. 

[Thus ends Chapter XV, "Rescission of purchase and sale" in Book 
III, "Concerning Law" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
seventy- second chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVI. RESUMPTION OF GIFTS, SALE 

269 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



WITHOUT OWNERSHIP AND OWNERSHIP. 

RULES concerning recovery of debts shall also apply to 
resumption of gifts. Invalid gifts shall be kept in the safe custody of 
some persons. Any person who has given as gift not only his whole 
property, his sons, and his wife, but also his own life shall bring the 
same for the consideration of rescissors. Gifts or charitable 
subscriptions to the wicked or for unworthy purposes, monetary 
help to such persons as are malevolent or cruel, and promise of 
sexual enjoyment to the unworthy shall be so settled by rescissors 
that neither the giver nor the receiver shall be injured thereby. 

Those who receive any kind of aid from timid persons, 
threatening them with legal punishment, defamation, or loss of 
money, shall be liable to the punishment for theft; and the persons 
who yield such aids shall likewise be punished. 

Co-operation in hurting a person, and showing a haughty 
attitude towards the king shall be punished with the highest 
amercement. No son, or heir claiming a dead man's property shall, 
against his own will, pay the value of the bail borne by the dead 
man (prdtibhdvyadanda), the balance of any dowry (sulkasesha), 
or the stakes of gambling; nor shall he fulfill the promise of gifts 
made by the dead man under the influence of liquor or love. Thus 
resumption of gifts is dealt with. 

(Sale without ownership.) 

As regards sale without ownership:— On the detection of a lost 
property in the possession of another person, the owner shall cause 
the offender to be arrested through the judges of a court. If time or 
place does not permit this action, the owner himself shall catch 
hold of the offender and bring him before the judges. The judge 
shall put the question; how the offender came by the property. If he 

270 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



narrates how he got it, but cannot produce the person who sold it to 
him, he shall be left off, and shall forfeit the property. But the 
seller, if produced, shall not only pay the value of the property, but 
also be liable to the punishment for theft. 

If a person with a stolen property in his possession runs away 
or hides himself till the property is wholly consumed, he shall not 
only pay the value, but also be liable to the punishment for theft. 

After proving his claim to a lost property (svakaranam 
kritva), its owner shall be entitled to take possession of it. On his 
failure to prove his title to it, he shall be fined 5 times the value of 
the property, (panchabandhadandah), and the property shall be 
taken by the king. 

If the owner takes possession of a lost article without 
obtaining permission from the court, he shall be punished with the 
first amercement. 

Stolen or lost articles shall, on being detected, be kept in the 
toll-gate. If no claimant is forthcoming within three fortnights, 
such articles shall be taken by the king. 

He who proved his title to a lost or stolen biped shall pay 5 
panas towards ransom (before taking possession of it). Likewise 
the ransom for a single-hoofed animal shall be 4 panas; for a cow 
or a buffalo, 2 panas, for minor quadrupeds l Mh of apana; and for 
articles such as precious stones, superior or inferior raw materials, 
five per cent of their value. 

Whatever of the property of his own subjects the king brings 
back from the forests and countries of enemies, shall be handed 
over to its owner. Whatever of the property of citizens robbed by 
thieves the king cannot recover, shall be made good from his own 

271 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



pocket. If the king is unable to recover such things, he shall either 
allow any self-elected person (svayamgrdha) to fetch them, or pay 
an equivalent ransom to the sufferer. An adventurer may enjoy 
whatever the king graciously gives him out of the booty he has 
plundered from an enemy's country, excepting the life of an Arya 
and the property belonging to gods, Brdhmans or ascetics. Thus 
sale without ownership is dealt with. 
(Ownership.) 

As to the title of an owner to his property :— The owners who 
have quitted their country where their property lies shall continue 
to have their title to it. When the owners other than minors, the 
aged, those that are afflicted with decease or calamities, those that 
are sojourning abroad, or those that have deserted their country 
during national disturbances, neglect for ten years their property 
which is under the enjoyment of others, they shall forfeit their title 
to it. 

Buildings left for 20 years in the enjoyment of others shall not 
be reclaimed. But the mere occupation of the buildings of others 
during the absence of the king by kinsmen, priests, or heretics shall 
not give them the right of possession. The same shall obtain with 
regard to open deposits, pledges, treasure trove (nidhi), boundary, 
or any property belonging to kings or priests (srotriyas). 

Ascetics and heretics shall, without disturbing each other, 
reside in a large area. A new comer shall, however, be provided 
with the space occupied by an old resident. If not willing to do so, 
the old occupier shall be sent out. 

The property of hermits, (vdnaprastha) ascetics (yati), or 
bachelors learning the Vedas (Brahmachdri) shall on their death be 
taken by their preceptors, disciples, their brethren 
(dharmabhrdtri), or class-mates in succession. 

272 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whenever hermits, etc., have to pay any fines, they may, in 
the name of the king, perform penance, oblation to gods, 
fireworship, or the ritual called Mahdkachchhavardhana for as 
many nights as the number of panas of their fines. Those heretics 
(pdshanddh) who have neither gold nor gold-coin shall similarly 
observe their fasts except in the case of defamation, theft, assault 
and abduction of women. Under these circumstances, they shall be 
compelled to undergo punishment. 

* The king shall, under penalty of fines, forbid the wilful or 
improper proceedings of ascetics: for vice overwhelming 
righteousness will in the long run destroy the ruler himself. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVI, "Resumption of gifts, sale without 
ownership, and ownership" in Book III, "Concerning Law" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the seventy-third chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVII. ROBBERY. 

SUDDEN and direct seizure (of person or property) is termed 
sdhasa; fraudulent or indirect seizure (niranvaye 'pavyayanecha) is 
theft. 

The school of Manu hold that the fine for the direct seizure of 
precious stones and superior or inferior raw materials shall be 
equal to their value. It is equal to twice the value of the articles 
according to the followers of Usanas. 

But Kautilya holds that it shall be proportional to the gravity 
of the crime. 



273 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



In the case of such articles of small value as flowers, fruits, 
vegetables, roots, turnips, cooked rice, skins, bamboo, and pots 
(earthenware) the fine shall range from 12 to 24 papas; for articles 
of great value such as iron (kdldyasa), wood, roping materials, and 
herds of minor quadrupeds, the fine shall range from 24 to 48 
panas; and for such articles of still greater value as copper, brass, 
bronze, glass, ivory and vessels, etc., it shall range from 48 to 96 
panas. This fine is termed the first amercement. 

For the seizure of such as big quadrupeds, men, fields, 
houses, gold, gold-coins, fine fabrics, etc., the fine shall range from 
200 to 500 panas, which is termed the middle-most amercement. 

My preceptor holds that keeping or causing to keep by force 
either men or women in prison, or releasing them by force from 
imprisonment, shall be punished with fines ranging from 500 to 
1,000 panas. This fine is termed the highest amercement. 

He who causes another to commit sdhasa after the plans 
prepared by himself shall be fined twice the value (of the person or 
property seized). An abettor who employs a hireling to comit 
sdhasa by promising 'I shall pay thee as much gold as thou makest 
use of,' shall be fined four times the value. 

The school of Brihaspati are of opinion that if with the 
promise T will pay thee this amount of gold,' an abettor causes 
another to commit sdhasa, the former shall be compelled to pay the 
promised amount of gold and a fine. But Kautilya holds that if an 
abettor extenuates his crime by pleading anger, intoxication or loss 
of sense (moham), he shall be punished as described above. 

* In all kinds of fines below a hundred panas, the king shall 
take in addition to the fine 8 per cent more as rupa and in fines 
above hundred, five per cent more; these two kinds of exaction, are 

274 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



just inasmuch as the people are full of sins on the one hand, and 
kings are naturally misguided on the other. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVII, "Robbery" in Book III, "Concerning 
Law" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the seventy-fourth 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVIII. DEFAMATION. 

CALUMNY, contemptuous talk, or intimidation constitutes 

defamation. 

Among abusive expressions relating to the body, habits, 
learning, occupation, or nationalities, that of calling a deformed 
man by his right name such as 'the blind', 'the lame', etc. shall be 
punished with a fine of 3 panas; and by false name 6 panas. If the 
blind, the lame, etc., are insulted with such ironical expressions as 
'a man of beautiful eyes', 'a man of beautiful teeth', etc. the fine 
shall be 12 panas. Likewise when a person is taunted for leprosy, 
lunacy, impotency and the like. Abusive expressions in general, no 
matter whether true, false, or reverse with reference to the abused, 
shall be punished with fines ranging above 12 panas, in the case of 
persons of equal rank. 

If persons abused happen to be of superior rank, the amount 
of the fines shall be doubled; if of lower rank, it shall be halved. 
For calumniating the wives of others, the amount of the fines shall 
be doubled. 

If abuse is due to carelessness, intoxication, or loss of sense, 
etc., the fines shall be halved. 

As to the reality of leprosy and lunacy, physicians or 

275 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



neighbours shall be authorities. 

As to the reality of impotency, women, the scum of urine, or 
the low specific gravity of faeces in water (the sinking of faeces in 
water) shall furnish the necessary evidence. 

(Speaking ill of habits.) 

If among Brdhmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, Sudras, and 
outcastes (antdvasdyins), any one of a lower caste abuses the habits 
of one of a higher caste, the fines imposed shall increase from 3 
panas upwards (commencing from the lowest caste). If any one of 
a higher caste abuses one of a lower caste, fines imposed shall 
decrease from 2 panas. 

Contemptuous expressions such as 'a bad Brahman' shall 
also be punished as above. 

The same rules shall apply to calumnies regarding learning 
(sruta), the profession of buffoons (vdgjivana), artisans, or 
musicians, and relating to nationalities such as Prdjjunaka, 
Gdndhdra, etc. 

(Intimidation.) 

If a person intimidates another by using such expressions as 'I 
shall render thee thus', the bravado shall be punished with half as 
much fine as will be levied on him who actually does so. 

If a person, being unable to carry his threat into effect, pleads 
provocation, intoxication, or loss of sense as his excuse, he shall be 
fined 12 panas. 

If a person capable to do harm and under the influence of 

276 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



enmity intimidates another, he shall be compelled to give life-long 
security for the well-being of the intimidated. 

* Defamation of one's own nation or village shall be 
punished with the first amercement; that of one's own caste or 
assembly with the middlemost; and that of gods or temples 
(chaitya) with the highest amercement. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVIII, "Defamtion" in Book III, "Concerning 
Law" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the seventy-fifth 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIX. ASSAULT. 

TOUCHING, striking, or hurting constitutes assault. 

When a person touches with hand, mud, ashes or dust the 
body of another person below the naval, he shall be punished with 
a fine of 3 panas; with some but unclean things, with the leg, or 
spittle, 6 panas; with saliva (Chhardi), urine, faeces, etc. 12 panas. 
If the same offence is committed above the navel, the fines shall be 
doubled; and on the head, quadrupled. 

If the same offence is committed on persons of superior rank, 
the fines shall be twice as much: and on persons of lower rank, half 
of the above fines. If the same offence is committed on the women 
of others, the fines shall be doubled. 

If the offence is due to carelessness, intoxication, or loss of 
sense, the fines shall be halved. 

For catching hold of a man by his legs, clothes, hands or hair, 

277 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



fines ranging above 6 panas shall be imposed. Squeezing, 
rounding with arms, thrusting, dragging, or sitting over the body of 
another person shall be punished with the first amercement. 

Running away after making a person fall, shall be punished 
with half of the above fines. 

That limb of a Sudra with which he strikes a Brahman shall 
be cut off. 

(Striking.) 

For striking compensation is to be paid and half of the fines 
levied for touching. This rule shall also apply to Chandalas and 
other profane persons (committing the same offence). Striking with 
the hand, shall be punished with fines below 3 panas, with the leg 
twice as much as the above fine; and striking with an instrument so 
as to cause swellings shall be punished with the first amercement; 
and striking so as to endanger life shall be punished with the 
middle-most amercement. 

(Hurting.) 

Causing a bloodless wound with a stick, mud, a stone, an iron 
bar, or a rope shall be punished with a fine of 24 panas. Causing 
the blood to gush out excepting bad or diseased blood shall be 
punished with double the fine. 

Beating a person almost to death, though without causing 
blood, breaking the hands, legs, or teeth, tearing off the ear or the 
nose, or breaking open the flesh of a person except in ulcers or 
boils shall be punished with the first amercement. Causing hurt in 
the thigh or the neck, wounding the eye, or hurting so as to impede 
eating, speaking, or any other bodily movements shall not only be 
punished with the middlemost amercement, but also be made liable 

278 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



to the payment (to the sufferer) of such compensation as is 
necessary to cure him. 

If time or place does not permit the immediate arrest of an 
offender, he shall be dealt with as described in Book IV, treating of 
the measures to suppress the wicked. 

Each one of a confederacy of persons who have inflicted hurt 
on another person shall be punished with double the usual fine. 

My preceptor holds that quarrels or assaults of a remote date 
shall not be complained of. 

But Kautilya holds that there shall be no acquittal for an 
offender. 

My preceptor thinks that he who is the first to complain of a 
quarrel wins inasmuch as it is pain that drives one to law. 

But Kautilya objects to it; for whether a complaint is lodged 
first or last, it is the evidence of witnesses that must be depended 
upon. In the absence of witnesses, the nature of the hurt and other 
circumstances connected with the quarrel in question shall be 
evidences. Sentence of punishment shall be passed the very day 
that a defendant accused of assault fails to answer the charge made 
against him. 

(Robbery in quarrels.) 

A person stealing anything under the tumult of a quarrel shall 
be fined 10 panas. Destruction of articles of small value shall be 
punished with a fine equal to the value of the articles besides the 
payment (to the sufferer) of an adequate compensation. 
Destruction of big things with a compensation equal to the value of 

279 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the articles and a fine equal to twice the value. In the case of 
destruction of such things as clothes, gold, gold-coins, and vessels 
or merchandise, the first amercement together with the value of the 
articles shall be levied. 

Causing damage to a wall of another man's house by 
knocking shall be fined 3 panas; breaking open or demolishing the 
same shall be fined 6 panas, besides the restoration of the wall. 

Throwing harmful things inside the house of a man shall be 
fined 12 panas; and throwing such things as endanger the lives of 
the inmates shall be punished with the first amercement. 

For causing pain with sticks, etc., to minor quadrupeds one or 
two panas shall be levied; and for causing blood to the same, the 
fine shall be doubled. In the case of large quadrupeds, not only 
double the above fines, but also an adequate compensation 
necessary to cure the beasts shall be levied. 

For cutting off the tender sprouts of fruit-trees, flower- trees or 
shady trees in the parks near a city, a fine of 6 panas shall be 
imposed; for cutting off the minor branches of the same trees, 12 
panas; and for cutting off the big branches, 24 panas shall be 
levied. Cutting off the trunks of the same shall be punished with the 
first amercement; and felling the same shall be punished with the 
middle-most amercement. 

In the case of plants which bear flowers, fruits, or provide 
shade, half of the above fines shall be levied. 

The same fines shall be levied in the case of trees that have 
grown in places of pilgrimage, forests of hermits, or cremation or 
burial grounds. 

* For similar offences committed in connection with the trees 

280 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



which mark boundaries, or which are worshipped or observed 
(chaityeshvdlakshiteshucha,) or trees which are grown in the king's 
forests, double the above fines shall be levied. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIX, "Assault" in Book III, "Concerning law" 
of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the seventy-sixth chapter 
from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XX. GAMBLING AND BETTING AND 
MISCELLANEOUS OFFENCES. 

WITH a view to find out spies or thieves, the Superintendent 
of gambling shall, under the penalty of a fine of Ylpanas if played 
elsewhere, centralise gambling. 

My preceptor is of opinion that in complaints regarding 
gambling, the winner shall be punished with the first amercement 
and the vanquished with the middle-most amercement; for though 
not skillful enough to win as ardently desired by him, the 
vanquished fellow does not tolerate his defeat. 

But Kautilya objects to it: for if the punishment for the 
vanquished were to be doubled, none would complain to the king. 
Yet gamblers are naturally false players. 

The Superintendents of gambling shall, therefore, be honest 
and supply dice at the rate of a kdkani of hire per pair. Substitution 
by tricks of hand of dice other than thus supplied shall be punished 
with a fine of 12 panas. A false player shall not only be punished 
with the first amercement and fines leviable for theft and deceipt, 
but also be made to forfeit the stakes he has won. 

281 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The Superintendent shall take not only 5 per cent of the stakes 
won by every winner, and the hire payable for supplying dice and 
other accessories of diceplay, but also the fee chargeable for 
supplying water and accommodation, besides the charge for 
license. 

He can at the same time carry on the transactions of sale or 
mortgage of things. If he does not forbid tricks of hand and other 
deceitful practices, be shall be punished with twice the amount of 
the fine (levied from the deceitful gamblers.) 

The same rules shall apply to betting and challenging except 
those in learning and art. 

(Miscellaneous offences.) 

As regards miscellaneous offences:— 

When a person does not return in required place or time the 
property he has borrowed or hired, or placed in his custody as a 
deposit, sits under the shade for more than one and a quarter of an 
hour (aydma) as prescribed, evades under the excuse of being a 
Brahman the payment due while passing military stations or 
crossing rivers, and bawls out or invites others to fight against his 
neighbours, he shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas. 

When a person does not hand over the property entrusted to 
him for delivery to a third person, drags with his hand the wife of 
his brother, has connection with a public woman kept by another, 
sells merchandise that is under ill repute, breaks open the sealed 
door of a house, or causes hurt to any of the forty-house-holders or 
neighbours, a fine of 48 panas shall be imposed. 

When a person misappropriates the revenue he collects as the 

282 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



agent of a household, violates by force the chastity of a widow of 
independent living, when an outcast (chanddla) person touches an 
Arya woman, when a person does not run to render help to another 
in danger, or runs without a cause, and when a person entertains, in 
dinner dedicated to gods or ancestors Buddhists (sdkya,) Ajivakas, 
Siidras and exiled persons, (pravrajita) a fine of 100 panas shall be 
imposed. 

When an unauthorised person examines (an offender) on 
oath, executes Government work though not a Government 
servant, renders minor quadrupeds impotent, or causes abortion to 
a female slave by medicine, he shall be punished with the first 
amercement. 

When between father and son, husband and wife brother and 
sister, maternal uncle and nephew or teacher and student, one 
abandons the other while neither of them is an apostate; and when a 
person abandons in the centre of a village another person whom he 
brought there for his own help, the first amercement shall be 
levied. 

When a person abandons his companion in the midst of a 
forest, he shall be punished with the middle-most amercement. 

When a person threatens and abandons his companion in the 
midst of a forest, he shall be punished with the highest 
amercement. 

Whenever persons who have started together on some journey 
abandon one another as above, half of the above fine shall be 
levied. 

When a person keeps or causes to keep another person in 
illegal confinement, releases a prisoner from prison, keeps or 

283 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



causes another to keep a minor in confinement, he shall be 
punished with a fine of 1000 panas. 

The rates of fines shall vary in accordance with the rank of 
persons concerned and the gravity of the crimes. 

Such persons as a pilgrim, an ascetic engaged in penance, a 
diseased person, any one suffering from hunger, thirst, or fatigue 
from journey, a villager from country parts, any one that has 
suffered much from punishment and a money-less pauper shall be 
shown mercy. 

Such transactions as pertain to gods, Brdhmans, ascetics, 
women, minors, aged persons, diseased persons and helpless 
creatures shall, though not be complained of, be settled by the 
judges themselves; and in such transactions as the above, excuses 
due to time, place, or possession shall not be pleaded. 

Such persons as are noted for their learning, intelligence, 
bravery, high birth, or magnificent works shall be honoured. 

* Judges shall thus settle disputes free from all kinds of 
circumvention, with mind unchanged in all moods or 
circumstances, pleasing and affable to all. 

[Thus ends Chapter XX, "Gambling, Betting, and Miscellaneous", 
in Book III, "Concerning Law" of the Arthasastra of Kautilya. End 
of the seventy- seventh chapter from the beginning. With this, ends 
the third Book "Concerning Law" of the Arthasastra of Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamashastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 187-252. 



284 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns" 

CHAPTER I. PROTECTION OF ARTISANS. 

THREE Commissioners (pradeshtdrah) or three ministers 
shall deal with measures to suppress disturbance to peace 
(kantakasodhanam kuryuh). 

Those who can be expected to relieve misery, who can give 
instructions to artisans, who can be trusted with deposits, who can 
plan artistic work after their own design, and who can be relied 
upon by guilds of artisans, may receive the deposits of the guilds. 
The guilds (sreni) shall receive their deposits back in time of 
distress. 

Artisans shall, in accordance, with their agreement as to time, 
place, and form of work, fulfill their engagements. Those who 
postpone their engagements under the excuse that no agreement as 
to time, place and form of work has been entered into shall, except 
in troubles and calamities, not only forfeit l Ath of their wages, but 
also be punished with a fine equal to twice the amount of their 
wages. They shall also make good whatever is thus lost or 
damaged. Those who carry on their work contrary to orders shall 
not only forfeit their wages, but also pay a fine equal to twice the 
amount of their wages. 

(Weavers.) 

Weavers shall increase the threads (supplied to them for 
weaving cloths) in the proportion of 10 to 11 (dasaikddasikam). 
They shall otherwise, not only pay either a fine equal to twice the 
loss in threads or the value of the whole yarn, but also forfeit their 
wages. In weaving linen or silk cloths (kshaumakauseydnam), the 
increase shall be 1 to Wi. In weaving fibrous or woollen garments 

285 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



or blankets (patronakambdladukuldndm), the increase shall be 1 to 

2. 

In case of loss in length, the value of the loss shall be 
deducted from the wages and a fine equal to twice the loss shall be 
imposed. Loss in weight (tuldhine) shall be punished with a fine 
equal to four times the loss. Substitution of other kind of yarn, shall 
be punished with a fine equal to twice the value of the original. 

The same rules shall apply to the weaving of broad cloths 
(dvipatavdnam). 

The loss in weight in woollen threads due to threshing or 
falling of hair is 5 palas. 

(Washermen.) 

Washermen shall wash clothes either on wooden planks or on 
stones of smooth surface. Washing elsewhere shall not only be 
punished with a fine of 6 panas, but also be subject for the payment 
of a compensation equal to the damage. 

Washermen wearing clothes other than such as are stamped 
with the mark of a cudgel shall be fined three panas. For selling, 
mortgaging, or letting out for hire the clothes of others, a fine of 12 
panas shall be imposed. 

In case of substitution of other clothes, they shall not only be 
punished with a fine equal to twice the value of the clothes, but also 
be made to restore the true ones. 

For keeping for more than a night clothes which are to be 
made as white as a jasmin flower, or which are to attain the natural 
colour of their threads on washing on the surface of stones, or 
which are to be made whiter merely by removing their dirt by 

286 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



washing, proportional fines shall be imposed. For keeping for more 
than 5 nights such clothes as are to be given thin colouring, for 
more than six nights such as are to be made blue, for more than 7 
nights such as are to be made either as white as flowers or as 
beautiful and shiny as lac, saffron, or blood and such clothes as 
require much skill and care in making brilliant, wages shall be 
forfeited. 

Trustworthy persons shall be judges in disputes regarding 
colour and experts shall determine the necessary wages. 

For washing the best garments, the wages shall be one pana; 
for those of middle quality, half a pana; and for those of inferior 
quality l Ath of a pana. 

For rough washing on big stones, the wages shall be Vsth of a 
pana. 

[In the first wash of red-coloured clothes, there is a loss of 
Vith part (of the colour); in the second wash, l/5th part. This 
explains subsequent losses. The rules pertaining to washermen are 
also applicable to weavers. 

Goldsmiths who, without giving information (to the 
government), purchase from unclean hands silver or golden articles 
without changing the form of the articles shall be fined 12 panas; if 
they do the same changing the form of the articles (i.e., melting), 
they shall be fined 24 panas; if they purchase the same from the 
hands of a thief, they shall be fined 48 panas; if they purchase an 
article for less than its value after melting it in secret, they shall be 
liable to the punishment for theft; likewise for deception with 
manufactured articles. When a goldsmith steals from a suvarna 
gold equal to the weight of a mdsha (l/16th of a suvarna), he shall 
be punished 200 panas; when he steals from a silver dharana silver 

287 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



equal to the value of a mdsha, he shall be fined 12 panas. This 
explains the proportional enhancement of punishments. When a 
goldsmith removes the whole amount of the gold (karsha) from a 
suvarna by apasdrana method or by any other deceiptful 
combination (yoga), he shall be punished with a fine of 500 panas. 
In case of contaminating them (gold and silver) in any way, the 
offence shall be regarded as loss of their intrinsic colour. 

One mdsha shall be the fee for the manufacture of a silver 
dharana; for the manufacture of a suvarna, Vsth of the same; or fees 
may be increased to twice the above according to the skill of the 
manufacturer. This explains the proportional increase of fees. 

Fees for the manufacture of articles from copper, brass, 
vaikrinataka, and drakuta shall be five percent. In the manufacture 
of articles from copper (?), l/10th of the copper will be lost. For the 
loss of a pala in weight, a fine of twice the loss shall be imposed. 
This explains the proportional increase of punishments. In the 
manufacture of articles from lead and tin, l/20th of the mass will 
be lost. One kdkani shall be the fee for manufacturing an article of a 
pala in weight of the above. In the manufacture of articles from 
iron, l/5th of the mass will be lost; two kdkanis shall be the fee for 
manufacturing an article of a pala in weight from iron. This 
explains the proportional increase of fees. 

When the examiner of coins declares an unacceptable current 
coin to be worthy of being entered into the treasury or rejects an 
acceptable current coin, he shall be fined 12 panas. When the 
examiner of coins misappropriates a mdsha from a current coin of a 
pana, the tax, (Vydji) of five percent on the coin having been duly 
paid, he shall be fined 12 panas. This explains the proportional 
increase of fines. When a person causes a counterfeit coin to be 
manufactured, or accepts it, or exchanges it, he shall be fined 1,000 
panas; he who enters a counterfeit coin into the treasury shall be 
put to death.] 

288 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(Scavengers.) 

Of whatever precious things sweepers come across while 
sweeping, one-third shall be taken by them and two-thirds by the 
king. But precious stones shall be wholly surrendered to the king. 
Seizure of precious stones shall be punished with the highest 
amercement. 

A discoverer of mines, precious stones, or treasure troves 
shall, on supplying the information to the king, receive l/6th of it 
as his share; but if the discoverer happens to be a peon (bhritaka), 
his share shall be only l/12th of it. 

Treasure troves valued beyond 100,000 shall wholly be taken 
by the king. But if they are of less value, the discover shall receive 
l/6th of it as his share. 

Such treasure troves as a man of pure and honest life can 
prove to be his ancestral property shall wholly be taken by the man 
himself. Taking possession of a treasure trove without establishing 
such claim shall be punished with a fine of 500 panas. Taking 
possession of the same in secret shall be punished with a fine of 
1,000 panas. 

(Medical Practice). 

Physicians undertaking medical treatment without intimating 
(to the government) the dangerous nature of the disease shall, if the 
patient dies, be punished with the first amercement. If the death of 
a patient under treatment is due to carelessness in the treatment, the 
physician shall be punished with the middle-most amercement. 
Growth of disease due to negligence or indifference (karmavadha) 
of a physician shall be regarded as assault or violence. 



289 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(Musicians). 

Bands of musicians (kusilavah) shall, during the rainy season, 
stay in a particular place. They shall strictly avoid giving too much 
indulgence or causing too much loss (atipdtam) to any one. 
Violation of the above rule shall be punished with a fine of 12 
panas. They may hold their performances to their liking in 
accordance with the procedure of their country, caste, family, 
profession, or copulation. 

The same rules shall apply to dancers, dumb-players and 
other mendicants. 

For offences, mendicants shall receive as many lashes with an 
iron rod as the number of panas imposed on them. 

Wages for the works of other kinds of artisans shall be 
similarly determined. 

* Thus traders, artisans, musicians, beggers, buffoons and 
other idlers who are thieves in effect though not in name shall be 
restrained from oppression on the country. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Protection of artisans" in Book IV, "The 
Removal of Thorns" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
seventy-eighth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER II. PROTECTION OF MERCHANTS. 

THE Superintendent of Commerce shall allow the sale or 
mortgage of any old commodities (purdna bhdndandm) only when 

290 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the seller or mortgagor of such articles proves his ownership of the 
same. With a view to prevent deception, he shall also supervise 
weights and measures. 

Difference of half a pala in such measures as are called 
parimdni and drona is no offence. But difference of a pala in them 
shall be punished with a fine of Ylpanas. 

Fines for greater differences shall be proportionally 
increased. 

Difference of a karsha in the balance called tula is no offence. 
Difference of two karshas shall be punished with a fine of 6 panas. 
Fines for greater differences shall be proportionally increased. 

Difference of half a karsha in the measure called ddhaka is 
no offence; but difference of a karsha shall be punished with a fine 
of 3 panas. 

For greater differences, fines shall be proportionally 
increased. 

Fines for differences in weight in other kinds of balances shall 
be inferred on the basis of the above rule. 

When a merchant purchases by a false balance a greater 
quantity of a commodity and sells under the same nominal weight a 
less quantity by the same or another false balance, he shall be 
punished with double the above fines. 

Deception on the part of a seller to the extent of !/sth part of 
the articles valued at a pana and sold by number shall be punished 
with a fine of 96 panas. 

The sale or mortgage of articles such as timber, iron, brilliant 

291 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



stones, ropes, skins, earthenware, threads, fibrous garments, and 
woollen clothes as superior though they are really inferior shall be 
punished with a fine of 8 times the value of the articles thus sold. 

When a trader sells or mortgages inferior as superior 
commodities, articles of some other locality, as the produce of a 
particular locality, adulterated things, or deceitful mixtures, or 
when he dexterously substitutes other articles for those just sold 
(samutparivartimam), he shall not only be punished with a fine of 
54 panas but also be compelled to make good the loss. 

By making the fine two panas for the loss of the value of a 
pana, and 200 panas for that of 100, fines can be determined for 
any of such false sales. 

Those who conspire to lower the quality of the works of 
artisans, to hinder their income, or to obstruct their sale or purchase 
shall be fined thousand panas. 

Merchants who conspire either to prevent the sale of 
merchandise or to sell or purchase commodities at higher prices 
shall be fined 1,000 panas. 

Middlemen who cause to a merchant or a purchaser the loss of 
Vsth of a pana by substituting with tricks of hand false weights or 
measures or other kinds of inferior articles shall be punished with a 
fine of 200 panas. 

Fines for, greater losses shall be proportionally increased 
commencing from 200 panas. 

Adulteration of grains, oils, alkalis, salts, scents, and 
medicinal articles with similar articles of no quality shall be 
punished with a fine of 12 panas. 

292 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



It is the duty of the trader to calculate the daily earnings of 
middlemen and to fix that amount on which they are authorised to 
live; for whatever income falls between sellers and purchasers (i.e., 
brokerage) is different from profit. 

Hence authorised persons alone shall collect grains and other 
merchandise. Collection of such things without permission shall be 
confiscated by the Superintendent of Commerce. 

Hence shall merchants be favourably disposed towards the 
people in selling grains and other commodities. 

The Superintendent of Commerce shall fix a profit of five per 
cent over and above the fixed price of local commodities, and ten 
per cent on foreign produce. Merchants who enchance the price or 
realise profit even to the extent of half a pana more than the above 
in the sale or purchase of commodities shall be punished with a fine 
of from five panas in case of realising 100 panas up to 200 panas. 

Fines for greater enhancement shall be proportionally 
increased. 

In case of failure to sell collected merchandise wholesale at a 
fixed rate, the rate shall be altered. 

In case of obstruction to traffic, the Superintendent shall 
show necessary concessions. 

Whenever there is an excessive supply of merchandise, the 
Superintendent shall centralise its sale and prohibit the sale of 
similar merchandise elsewhere before the centralised supply is 
disposed of. 

Favourably disposed towards the people, shall merchants sell 
this centralised supply for daily wages. 

293 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The Superintendent shall, on consideration of the outlay, the 
quantity manufactured, the amount of toll, the interest on outlay, 
hire, and other kinds of accessory expenses, fix the price of such 
merchandise with due regard to its having been manufactured long 
ago or imported from a distant country (desakdldntaritdndm 
panydndm.) 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Protection of merchants" in Book IV "The 
Removal of Thorns" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
seventy-ninth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. REMEDIES AGAINST NATIONAL 
CALAMITIES. 

THERE are eight kinds of providential visitations: They are 
fire, floods, pestilential diseases, famine, rats, tigers (vydldh), 
serpents, and demons. From these shall the king protect his 
kingdom. 

(Fire.) 

During the summer, villages shall carry on cooking 
operations outside. Or they shall provide themselves with the ten 
remedial instruments (dasamuli). 

Precautionary measures against fire have been dealt with in 
connection with the description not only of the duties of 
superintendents of villages, but also of the king's, harem and 
retinue. 

Not only on ordinary days, but also on full-moon days shall 
offerings, oblations, and prayers be made to fire. 

294 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(Floods.) 

Villagers living on the banks of rivers shall, during the rainy 
reason, remove themselves to upcountries. They shall provide 
themselves with wooden planks, bamboos, and boats. They shall, 
by means of bottle-gourds, canoes, trunks of trees, or boats rescue 
persons that are being carried off by floods. Persons neglecting 
rescue with the exception of those who have no boats, etc., shall be 
fined 12 panas. On new and full-moon days shall rivers be 
worshipped. Experts in sacred magic and mysticism 
(mdydyogavidah), and persons learned in the Vedas, shall perform, 
incantations against rain. 

During drought shall Indra (sachindtha), the Ganges, 
mountains, and Mahdkachchha be worshipped. 

(Pestilences.) 

Such remedial measures as will be treated of in the 14th book 
shall be taken against pestilences. Physicians with their medicines, 
and ascetics and prophets with their auspicious and purificatory 
ceremonials shall also overcome pestilences. The same remedial 
measures shall be taken against epidemics (maraka = killer). 
Besides the above measures, oblations to gods, the ceremonial 
called, Mahd-kachchhavardhana, milking the cows on cremation 
or burial grounds, burning the trunk of a corpse, and spending 
nights in devotion to gods shall also be observed. 

With regard to cattle diseases (pasuvyddhimarake), not only 
the ceremony of waving lights in cowsheds (nirdjanam) shall be 
half done, but also the worship of family-gods be carried out. 

(Famines.) 

295 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



During famine, the king shall show favour to his people by 
providing them with seeds and provision (bijabhaktopagrdham). 

He may either do such works as are usually resorted to in 
calamities; he may show favour by distributing either his own 
collection of provisions or the hoarded income of the rich among 
the people; or seek for help from his friends among kings. 

Or the policy of thinning the rich by exacting excessive 
revenue (karsanam), or causing them to vomit their accumulated 
wealth (vamanam) may be resorted to. 

Or the king with his subjects may emigrate to another 
kingdom with abundant harvest. 

Or he may remove himself with his subjects to seashores or to 
the banks of rivers or lakes. He may cause his subjects to grow 
grains, vegetables, roots, and fruits wherever water is available. He 
may, by hunting and fishing on a large scale, provide the people 
with wild beasts, birds, elephants, tigers or fish. 

(Rats.) 

To ward off the danger from rats, cats and mongooses may be 
let loose. Destruction of rats that have been caught shall be 
punished with a fine of 12 panas. The same punishment shall be 
meted out to those who, with the exception of wild tribes, do not 
hold their dogs in check. 

With a view to destroy rats, grains mixed with the milk of the 
milk-hedge plants (snuhi: Euphorbia Antiquorum), or grains mixed 
with such ingredients as are treated of in the 14th book may be left 
on the ground. Asceties and prophets may perform auspicious 
ceremonials. On new and full-moon days rats may be worshipped. 



296 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Similar measures may also be taken against the danger from 
locusts, birds and insects. 

(Snakes.) 

[When there is fear from snakes, experts in applying remedies 
against snake poison shall resort to incantations and medicines; or 
they may destroy snakes in a body; or those who are learned in the 
Atharvaveda may perform auspicious rites. On new and full moon 
days, (snakes) may be worshipped. This explains the measures to 
be taken against the dangers from water- animals. 

(Tigers.) 

In order to destroy tigers, either the carcasses of cattle mixed 
with the juice of madana plant, or the carcasses of calves filled 
with the juice of madana and kodrava plants may be thrown in 
suitable places. 

Or hunters or keepers of hounds may catch tigers by 
entrapping them in nets. Or persons under the protection of armour 
may kill tigers with arms. 

Negligence to rescue a person under the clutches of a tiger 
shall be punished with a fine of 12 panas. Similar sum of money 
shall be given as a reward to him who kills a tiger. 

On new and full moon days mountains may be worshipped. 
Similar measures may be taken against the inroad of beasts, birds, 

or crocodiles. 

(Demons.) 

Persons acquainted with the rituals of the Atharvaveda, and 

297 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



experts in sacred magic and mysticism shall perform such 
ceremonials as ward off the danger from demons. 

On full-moon days the worship of Chaityas may be 
performed by placing on a verandah offerings such as an umbrella, 
the picture of an arm, a flag, and some goat's flesh. 

In all kinds of dangers from demons, the incantation 'we offer 
thee cooked rice" shall be performed. 

The king shall always protect the afflicted among his people 
as a father his sons. 

Such ascetics as are experts in magical arts, and being 
endowed with supernatural powers, can ward off providential 
visitations, shall, therefore, be honoured by the king and made to 
live in his kingdom. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "Remedies against national Calamities" in 
Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the eightieth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. SUPPRESSION OF THE WICKED LIVING 
BY FOUL MEANS. 

MEASURES necessary for the protection of countries have 
been briefly dealt with in connection with the description of the 
duties of the Collector-general. 

We are now going to treat of in detail such measures as can 
remove the disturbing elements of peace. 

298 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The Collector-general shall employ spies disguised as 
persons endowed with supernatural power, persons engaged in 
penance, ascetics, world trotters (chakra-chara), bards, buffoons, 
mystics (prachchhandaka), astrologers, prophets foretelling the 
future, persons capable of reading good or bad time, physicians, 
lunatics, the dumb, the deaf, idiots, the blind, traders, painters, 
carpenters, musicians, dancers, vintners, and manufacturers of 
cakes, flesh and cooked rice, and send them abroad into the country 
for espionage. 

The spies shall ascertain the fair or foul dealings of villagers, 
or of the Superintendents of villages and report the same. 

If any person is found to be of foul life (gudhajivi), a spy who 
is acquainted with similar avocation shall be let loose upon him. 

On acquiring friendship with the suspected person who may 
be either a judge or a commissioner, the spy may request him that 
the misfortune in which a friend of the spy is involved may be 
warded off and that a certain amount of money may be accepted. If 
the judge accedes to the request, he shall be proclaimed as the 
receiver of bribes and banished. The same rule shall also apply to 
commissioners. 

A spy may tell the congregation of villages (grdmakutam) or 
its superintendent that a wealthy man of wicked character is 
involved in some trouble and that this opportunity may be availed 
of to squeeze money from him. If either the one or the other 
complies with the spy, banishment shall be ordered under the 
proclamation of 'extortion.' 

Under the pretence of having been charged with criminal 
offence, a spy may, with promise of large sums money, begin to 
deal with false witnesses. If they agree with him, they shall be 
proclaimed as false witnesses and banished. 

299 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Manufacturers of counterfeit coins shall also be treated 
similarly. 

Whoever is believed to secure for others the love of women 
by means of magical charms, drugs or ceremonials performed on 
cremation grounds may be approached by a spy with the request 
that the wife, daughter, or daughter-in-law of some one, whom the 
spy pretends to love may be made to return the love and that a 
certain amount of money may be accepted. If he consents to it, he 
shall be proclaimed as one engaged in witchcraft 
(samvadanakdraka) and banished. 

Similar steps may be taken against persons engaged in such 
witchcraft as is hurtful to others. 

Whoever is suspected of administering poison (rasa = 
mercury) to others by reason of his talking of it or selling or 
purchasing mercury, or using it in preparing medicines, may be 
approached with the tale that a certain enemy of the spy may be 
killed and that a certain amount of money may be received as 
reward. If he does so, he shall be proclaimed as a poisoner 
(rasada), and banished. 

Similar steps may be taken against those who deal with 
medicines prepared from madana plant. 

Whoever is suspected of manufacturing counterfeit coins in 
that he often purchases various kinds of metals, alkalis, charcoal, 
bellows, pincers, crucibles, stove, and hammers, has his hands and 
cloths dirty with ashes and smoke, or possesses such other 
accessory instruments as are necessary for this illegal manufacture, 
may be requested by a spy to take the latter as an apprentice, and 
being gradually betrayed by the spy, such person, on proclamation 
of his guilt as the manufacturer of false coins, shall be banished. 

300 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Similar steps may be taken against those who lower the 
quality of gold by mixing it with an alloy, or deal with counterfeit 
gold (suvarna = coin ?) 

There are thirteen kinds of criminals who, secretly attempting 
to live by foul means, destroy the peace of the country. They shall 
either be banished or made to pay an adequate compensation 
according as their guilt is light or serious. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "Suppression of the wicked living by foul 
means" in Book IV "The Removal Thorns" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the eighty-first chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. DETECTION OF YOUTHS OF CRIMINAL 
TENDENCY BY ASCETIC SPIES. 

ON availing themselves of the opening made by ordinary 
spies sent in advance, special spies pretending to be endowed with 
supernatural powers may, under the pretence of knowing such 
incantations as cause rapid speed in running away, or render 
persons invisible, or cause hard fastened doors to open, induce 
highway robbers to robbery; and may under the pretence of 
knowing such incantations as secure the love of women, entice 
adulterers to take part in criminal actions planned for the purpose 
of proving their criminal intentions. 

On taking these enthusiasts thus induced to a village, where 
persons under the guise of women and men are previously 
stationed and which is different from the one intended to be 
reached, the youths may be told that it is difficult to reach in time 
the village aimed at and that the power of incantation may be seen 

301 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



then and there alone. 

Having opened the doors seemingly with the power of 
incantation, the youths may be asked to get in. Having, in the midst 
of wakeful watchmen under concert, rendered the youths invisible 
with incantation, they may be asked to go into the interior. Having 
caused the watchmen seemingly sleepy, the youths may, as 
ordered, move the beds of the watchmen with no hesitation. 
Persons under the guise of others, wives may, seemingly under the 
influence of incantation, please the youths. 

Soon after the youths have actually experienced the powers of 
incantation, they may be taught the recitation and other accessory 
procedure of that art. They may afterwards be asked to test the 
power of their new learning in plundering such houses as contain 
articles or money with marks of identification, and simultaneously 
caught hold of in the very act. They may either be arrested while 
selling, purchasing, or mortgaging articles with marks of 
identification, or caught hold of while under intoxication brought 
about by medicinal drinks (yogasurdmatta). 

From these youths thus arrested may be gathered information 
regarding the past life of them and of their accomplices. 

Spies under the disguise of old and notorious thieves may 
similarly associate with robbers and, instituting similar measures, 
cause the latter to be arrested. 

The Collector- general shall exhibit these arrested robbers and 
announce to the public that their arrest is due to the instructions 
obtained from the king who has learnt the divine art of catching 
robbers: 'I shall similarly catch hold of other robbers again and 
again, and you, people, ought to prevent any one of your own 
kinsmen from his wicked deeds.' 



302 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whoever is known, through the information of spies, to have 
been a robber of yoking ropes, whips and other (agricultural) 
implements may be arrested and told that his arrest is due to the 
omniscient power of the king. Spies under the disguise of old and 
notorious robbers, herdsmen, hunters, or keepers of hounds may 
mix themselves with criminal tribes living in forests, and conspire 
with them to attack villages or caravanserais which, according to 
previous plan, contain plenty of counterfeit gold and other articles. 
During the tumult, they may be killed by armed men concealed for 
the purpose. Or on their securing plenty of stolen treasure, the 
robbers may either be made to eat such food as is mixed with the 
intoxicating juice of madana plant, or caught hold of either while 
sleeping with fatigue caused by incessant movements or while 
under intoxication due to the drinking of medicinal beverage on the 
occasions of religious festivals. 

The Collector-general shall exhibit in public these and other 
arrested criminals and proclaim the omniscient power of the king 
among the people at large. 

[Thus ends Chapter V, "Detection of youths of criminal tendency 
by ascetic spies," in Book IV, "The Removal Thorns" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the eighty-second chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER VI. SEIZURE OF CRIMINALS ON SUSPICION 
OR IN THE VERY ACT. 

IN addition to the measures taken by spies under the guise of 
prophets, such steps as are suggested by suspicious movements or 
possession of stolen articles may also be taken. 

303 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(Suspicion.) 

Persons whose family subsist on slender means of 
inheritance; who have little or no comfort; who frequently change 
their residence, caste and the names, not only of themselves, but 
also of their family (gotra); who conceal their own avocations and 
calls; who have betaken themselves to such luxurious modes of life 
as eating flesh and condiments, drinking liquor, wearing scents, 
garlands, fine dress, and jewels; who have been squandering away 
their money; who constantly move with profligate women, 
gamblers, or vintners; who frequently leave their residence; whose 
commercial transaction, journey, or destination is difficult to 
understand; who travel alone in such solitary places as forests and 
mountainous tracts; who hold secret meetings in lonely places near 
to, or far from, their residence; who hurry on to get their fresh 
wounds or boils cured; who always hide themselves in the interior 
of their houses; who are excessively attached to women; who are 
always inquisitive to gather information as to the women and 
property of others; who associate themselves with men of 
condemnable learning and work; who loiter in the dark behind 
walls or under shades; who purchase rare or suspicious articles in 
suspicious times or places; who are known for their inimical 
dealings; whose caste and avocation are very low; who keep false 
appearances or put on different caste signs; who change their 
ancestral customs under false excuses; whose notoriety is already 
marked; who, though in charge of villages, are terribly afraid of 
appearing before the prime minister and conceal themselves or go 
elsewhere; who pant in fear while sitting alone; who show undue 
agitation or palpitation of heart; whose face is pale and dry while 
the voice is indistinct and stammering; who always move in 
company with armed men; or who keep threatening appearance; 
these and other persons may be suspected to be either murderers or 
robbers or offenders guilty of misappropriation of treasure-trove or 
deposits or to be any other kind of knaves subsisting by foul means 

304 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



secretly employed. 

Thus the seizure of criminals on suspicion is dealt with. 
(Seizure of stolen articles.) 

AS regards the seizure of criminals in the very act:- 

Information regarding such articles as are either lost or stolen 
shall, if the articles are not found out, be supplied to those who 
trade in similar articles. Traders who conceal the articles as to the 
loss of which they have already received information shall be 
condemned as abettors. If they are found not to be aware of the 
loss, they may be acquitted on restoring the articles. 

No person shall, without giving information to the 
superintendent of commerce, mortgage or purchase for himself any 
old or second-hand article. 

On receiving information regarding the sale or mortgage of 
old articles, the Superintendent shall ask the owner how he came 
by it. He may reply: it has been inherited; it has been received from 
a third person; it is purchased by himself; or it has been made to 
order; or it is a secret pledge; he may definitely state that the time 
and place when and where it came into being. Or he may adduce 
evidence as to the price and commission (kshanamulyam) for 
which it was purchased. If his statement regarding the antecedent 
circumstances of the article is found to be true, he shall be let off. 

If the article in question is found to be the one lost by another 
person whose deposition regarding the antecedent circumstances 
of the article in no way differs from the previous story, the article 
shall be considered to belong to that person who is found to have 
long been enjoying it and whose life is very pure. For while even 

305 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



quadrupeds and bipeds are found to bear such common evidences 
of identification as colour, gait and form, can there be any 
difficulty in identifying such articles as, in the form of raw 
materials, jewels, or vessels, are the product of a single source, 
definite materials, a particular manufacturer for a definite purpose? 

The possessor of an article in question may plead that the 
article is either borrowed or hired, a pledge or a sealed deposit, or 
one obtained from a particular person for retail sale. 

If he proves his allegation by producing the referee, he shall 
be let off; or the referee may deny having had any concern in the 
matter. 

With regard to the reasons which a person, seized with an 
article lost by another, assigns as to his having taken the article as a 
gift from a third person, he shall corroborate them by producing as 
witnesses not only those who gave and caused to give the article to 
him, but also those who, being mediators, custodians, bearers, or 
witnesses, arranged for the transfer of the article. 

When a person is found possessed of an article which he 
alleges to have been thrown out, lost, or forgotten by a third person, 
he shall prove his innocence by adducing evidence as to the time, 
place, and circumstances of finding the article. Otherwise he shall 
restore the article, besides paying a fine equal to its value; or he 
may be punished as a thief. 

Thus the seizure of criminals in the very act is dealt with. 

(Circumstancial Evidence.) 

As regards the seizure of criminals on the clue of 
circumstancial evidence:— 

306 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



In cases of house breaking and theft the circumstances, such 
as entrance and exit effected through other than doors; breaking the 
door by means of special contrivances breaking the windows with 
or without lattice work, or pulling off the roof in houses consisting 
of upstairs, ascending and descending upstairs; breaking the wall; 
tunnelling; such contrivances as are necessary to carry off the 
treasure secretly hoarded, information about which can only be 
gathered from internal sources; these and other accessory 
circumstances of wear and tear cognisable in the interior shall tend 
to indicate the concern of internal hands in the crime, and those of 
reverse nature, external agencies. The blending of these two kinds 
of circumstances shall indicate both internal and external agencies. 

Regarding crimes suspected to be the work of internal 
agencies: Any person of miserable appearance, present on the 
occasion, associated with rogues or thieves, and possessed of such 
instruments as are necessary for theft; a woman who is born of a 
poor family, or has placed her affections elsewhere; servants of 
similar condemnable character; any person addicted to too much 
sleep or who is suffering from want of sleep; any person who 
shows signs of fatigue, or whose face is pale and dry with voice 
stammering and indistinct and who may be watching the 
movements of others or bewailing too much; any person whose 
body bears the signs of scaling heights; any person whose body 
appears to have been scratched or wounded with dress torn off; any 
one whose legs and hands bear the signs of rubbing and scratching; 
any one whose hair and nails are either full of dirt or freshly 
broken; any one who has just bathed and daubed his body with 
sandal; any one who has smeared his body with oil and has just 
washed his hands and legs; any one whose foot-prints can be 
identified with those made near the house during ingress or egress; 
any one whose broken fragments of garlands, sandal or dress can 
be identified with those thrown out in or near the house during 
entrance or exit; any person the smell of whose sweat or drink can 

307 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



be ascertained from the fragments of his dress thrown out in or near 
the house;— these and other persons shall be examined. 

A citizen or a person of adulterous habits may also be 
suspected. 

* A commissioner (pradeshtd) with his retinue of gopas and 
sthdnikas shall take steps to find out external thieves; and the 
officer in charge of a city (ndgaraka) shall, under the 
circumstances sketched above, try to detect internal thieves inside 
fortified towns. 

[Thus ends Chapter VI, "Seizure of criminals on suspicion or in the 
very act," in Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the eighty-third chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER VII. EXAMINATION OF SUDDEN DEATH. 

IN cases of sudden death, the corpse shall be smeared over 
with oil and examined. 

Any person whose corpse is tainted with mucus and urine, 
with organs inflated with wind, with hands and legs swollen, with 
eyes open, and with neck marked with ligatures may be regarded as 
having been killed by suffocation and suppression of breathing. 

Any person with contracted arms and thighs may be 
regarded as having been killed by hanging. 

Any dead person with swollen hands, legs and belly, with 

308 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



sunken eyes and inflated navel may be regarded as having been 
killed by hanging. 

Any dead person with stiffened rectum and eyes, with tongue 
bitten between the teeth, and with belly swollen, may be 
considered as having been killed by drowning. 

Any dead person, wetted with blood and with limb, wounded 
and broken, may be regarded as having been killed with sticks or 
ropes. 

Any dead person with fractures and broken limbs, may be 
regarded as having been thrown down. 

Any dead person with dark coloured hands, legs, teeth, and 
nails, with loose skin, hairs fallen, flesh reduced, and with face 
bedaubed with foam and saliva, may be regarded as having been 
poisoned. 

Any dead person of similar description with marks of a 
bleeding bite, may be considered as having been bitten by serpents 
and other poisonous creatures. 

Any dead person, with body spread and dress thrown out after 
excessive vomitting and purging may be considered as having been 
killed by the administration of the juice of the madana plant. 

Death due to any one of the above causes is, sometimes 
under the fear of punishment, made to appear as having been 
brought about by voluntary hanging, by causing marks of ligature 
round the neck. 

In death due to poison, the undigested portion of meat may be 
examined in milk. Or the same extracted from the belly and thrown 
on fire may, if it makes 'chitchita' sound and assumes the rainbow 

309 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



colour, be declared as poisoned. 

Or when the belly (hridayam) remains unburnt, although the 
rest of the body is reduced to ashes, the dead man's servants may be 
examined as to any violent and cruel treatments they may have 
received at the hands of the dead. Similarly such of the dead man's 
relatives as a person of miserable life, a woman with affections 
placed elsewhere or a relative defending some woman that has 
been deprived of her inheritance by the dead man may also be 
examined. 

The same kind of examination shall be conducted concerning 
the hanging of the body of an already dead man. 

Causes such as past evils or harm done to others by a dead 
man, shall be inquired into regarding any death due to voluntary 
hanging. 

All kinds of sudden death, centre round one or the other of the 
following causes:- 

Offence to women or kinsmen, claiming inheritance, 
professional competition, hatred against rivals, commerce, guilds 
and any one of the legal disputes, is the cause of anger: anger is the 
cause of death. 

When, owing to false resemblance, one's own hirelings, or 
thieves for money, or the enemies of a third person murder one, the 
relatives of the deceased shall be inquired as follows:— 

Who called the deceased; who was with him; who 
accompanied him on his journey; and who took him to the scene of 
death? 

Those who happened to be at the locality of murder shall be 

310 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



severally asked as follows:— 

By whom the deceased was brought there; whether they (the 
witnesses) saw any armed person lurking in the place and showing 
signs of troubled appearance? 

Any clue afforded by them shall be followed in further 
enquiry. 

* After examining the personal property such as travelling 
requisites, dress, jewels, or other things which the deceased had on 
his body while murdered, such persons as supplied or had 
something to do with those things shall be examined as to the 
associates, residence, causes of journey, profession, and other calls 
of the deceased. 

* If a man or woman under the infatuation of love, anger, or other 
sinful passions commits or causes to commit suicide by means of 
ropes, arms, or poison, he or she shall be dragged by means of a 
rope along the public road by the hands of a Chanddla. 

* For such murderers as the above, neither cremation rites nor any 
obsequies usually performed by relatives shall be observed. 

* Any relative who performs funeral rites to such wretches, shall 
either himself be deprived of his own funerals or be abandoned by 
his kith and kin. 

* Whoever associates himself with such persons as perform 
forbidden rites, shall with his other associates, if any, forfeit within 
a year the privileges of conducting or superintending a sacrifice, of 
teaching, and of giving or receiving gifts. 

[Thus ends Chapter VII, "Examination of sudden death," in Book 
IV, "The Removal of Thorns" of the Arthasdsatra of Kautilya. End 
of the eighty-fourth chapter from the beginning.] 



311 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER VIII. TRIAL AND TORTURE TO ELICIT 
CONFESSION. 

WHETHER an accused is a stranger or a relative to a 
complainant, his defence witness shall, in the presence of the 
complainant, be asked as to the defendant's country, caste, family, 
name, occupation, property, friends, and residence. The answers 
obtained shall be compared with the defendant's own statements 
regarding the same. Then the defendant shall be asked as to not 
only the nature of the work he did during the day previous to the 
theft, but also the place where he spent the night till he was caught 
hold of. If his answers for these questions are attested to by reliable 
referees or witnesses, he shall be acquitted. Otherwise he shall be 
subjected torture (anyatha karmaprdptah). 

Three days after the commission of a crime, no suspected 
person (sankitakah) shall be arrested inasmuch as there is no room 
for questions unless there is strong evidence to bring home the 
charge. 

Persons who charge an innocent man with theft, or conceal a 
thief shall themselves be liable to the punishment for theft. 

When a person accused of theft proves in his defence the 
complainant's enmity or hatred towards himself he shall be 
acquitted. 

Any person who keeps an innocent man in confinement 
(parivdsayatah suddham) shall be punished with the first 
amercement. 

Guilt against a suspected person shall be established by the 
production of such evidences as the instruments made use of by the 
accused, his accomplices or abettors, the stolen article, and any 

312 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



middlemen involved in selling or purchasing the stolen article. The 
validity of the above evidences shall also be tested with reference 
to both the scene of the theft and the circumstances connected with 
the possession and distribution of the stolen article. 

When there are no such evidences and when the accused is 
wailing much, he shall be regarded as innocent. For owing to one's 
accidental presence on the scene of theft, or to one's accidental 
resemblance to the real thief in respect to his appearance, his dress, 
his weapons, or possession of articles similar to those stolen, or 
owing to one's presence near the stolen articles as in the case of 
Mdndavya who under the fear of torture admitted himself to be the 
thief, one, though innocent, is often seized as a thief. Hence the 
production of conclusive evidences shall be insisted upon. 
(tasmdtsamdptakaranam niyamayet = hence punishment shall be 
meted out only when the charge is quite established against the 
accused?) 

Ignoramuses, youngsters, the aged, the afflicted, persons 
under intoxication, lunatics, persons suffering from hunger, thirst, 
or fatigue from journey, persons who have just taken more than 
enough of meal, persons who have confessed of their own accord 
(dtmakdsitam), and persons who are very weak,— none of these 
shall be subjected to torture. 

Among the spies such as harlots, suppliers of water and other 
drinks to travellers, story-tellers, hotel-keepers providing travellers 
with boarding and lodging, any one who happens to be acquainted 
with the work similar to that of the suspected may be let off to 
watch his movements, as described in connection with 
misappropriation of sealed deposits. 

Those whose guilt is believed to be true shall be subjected to 
torture (aptadosham karma karayet). But not women who are 

313 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



carrying or who have not passed a month after delivery. 

Torture of women shall be half of the prescribed standard. Or 
women with no exception may be subjected to the trial of 
cross-examination (vdkyanuyogo vd). 

Those of Brahman caste and learned in the Vedas as well as 
asceties shall only be subjected to espionage. 

Those who violate or cause to violate the above rules shall be 
punished with the first amercement. The same punishment shall be 
imposed in case of causing death to any one by torture. 

There are in vogue four kinds of torture (karma):— 

Six punishments (shatdanddh), seven kinds of whipping 
(kasa), two kinds of suspension from above (upari nibandhau), 
and water- tube (udakandlikd cha). 

As to persons who have committed grave offences, the form 
of torture will be nine kinds of blows with a cane: — 12 beats on 
each of the thighs; 28 beats with a stick of the tree (naktamdla); 32 
beats on each palm of the hands and on each sole of the feet; two on 
the knuckles, the hands being joined so as to appear like a scorpion; 
two kinds of suspensions, face downwards (ullambane chale); 
burning one of the joints of a finger after the accused has been 
made to drink rice gruel; heating his body for a day after be has 
been made to drink oil; causing him to lie on coarse green grass for 
a night in winter. These are the 18 kinds of torture. 

The instruments of the accused such as ropes, clubs, arrows, 
spades, knives, etc., shall be paraded on the back of an ass. 

Each day a fresh kind of the torture may be employed. 

314 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Regarding those criminals who rob in accordance with the 
threat previously made by them, who have made use of the stolen 
articles in part, who have been caught hold of in the very act or 
with the stolen articles, who have attempted to seize the king's 
treasury, or who have committed culpable crime, may, in 
accordance with the order of the king, be subjected once or many 
times to one all of the above kinds of torture. 

Whatever may be the nature of the crime, no Brahman 
offender shall be tortured. The face of a Brahman convict shall be 
branded so as to leave a mark indicating his crime:— the sign of a 
dog in theft, that of a headless body in murder; that of the female 
part (bhaga) in rape with the wife of a teacher, and that of the flag 
of vintners for drinking liquor. 

After having thus branded to a wound and proclaimed his 
crime in public, the king shall either banish a Brahman offender or 
send him to the mines for life. 

[Thus ends Chapter VIII, "Trial and Torture to Elicit Confession" 
in Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the eighty-fifth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IX. PROTECTION OF ALL KINDS OF 
GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS. 

COMMISSIONERS appointed by the Collector-general 
shall first check (the proceedings of) Superintendents and their 
subordinates. 

Those who seize valuable articles or precious stones from 
either mines or any great manufactories shall be beheaded. Those 

315 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



who seize ordinary articles or necessaries of life from 
manufactories of articles of small value shall be punished with the 
first amercement. Those who seize from manufactories or from the 
king's granary articles of 1/16 to 1/4 apana in value shall be fined 
12 panas; articles of 1/4 to 1/2 apana in value, 24 panas; articles 
1/2 to 3/4 pana in value, 36 panas; and articles of 3/4 to 1 pana in 
value, 48 panas. 

Those who seize articles of 1 to 2 panas in value shall be 
punished with the first amercement; articles of 2 to 4 panas in 
value with the middlemost; and articles of 4 to 8 panas in value 
with the highest amercement. Those who seize articles of 8 to 10 
panas in value shall be condemned to death. 

When any one seizes from courtyards, shops, or arsenals 
commodities such as raw materials, manufactured articles, etc., of 
half the above value, he shall also be punished as above. When any 
person seizes articles of '/4th of the above value from Government 
treasury, granaries, or offices of Superintendents, he shall be 
punished with twice the above fines. 

It has already been laid down in connection with the king's 
harem that those who intimidate thieves (with a view to give them a 
signal to run away) shall be tortured to death. 

When any person other than a Government servant steals 
during the day from fields, yards prepared for threshing out grains, 
houses, or shops commodities such as raw materials, manufactured 
articles, or necessaries of life, of l/16th to l/4th of apana in value, 
he shall be fined 3 panas or paraded through the streets, his body 
being smeared over with cow-dung, and an earthen ware pan with 
blazing light tied round his loins (sardvamekhalayd). When any 
person steals articles of l A to Vi of apana in value, he shall be fined 
6 panas, or his head may be shaved, or he may be exiled 

316 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(mundanam pravrajanam vd). When a person steals articles of Vi to 
1/3 of a pana in value, he shall be fined 9 panas, or he may be 
paraded through streets, his body being bedaubed with cowdung or 
ashes or with an earthenware pan with blazing light tied round his 
waist. When a person steals articles of 1/3 to 1 pana in value, be 
shall be fined 12 panas, or his head may be shaved, or he may be 
banished. When a person steals commodities of 1 to 2 panas in 
value, he shall be fined 24 panas, or his head may be shaved with a 
piece of brick, or he may be exiled. When a person steals articles of 
2 to 4 panas in value, he shall be punished with a fine of 36 panas; 
articles of 4 to 5 panas in value, 48 panas; articles of 5 to 10 panas 
in value, with the first amercement; articles of 10 to 20 panas in 
value, with a fine of 200 panas; articles of 20 to 30 panas in value, 
with a fine of 500 panas; articles of 30 to 40 panas in value, with a 
fine of 1,000 panas; and articles of 40 to 50 panas in value, he shall 
be condemned to death. 

When a person seizes by force, whether during the early part 
of the day or night, articles of half the above values, he shall be 
punished with double the above fines. 

When any person with weapons in hand seizes by force, 
whether during the day or night, articles of Vith of the above values, 
he shall be punished with the same fines. 

When a master of a household (kutumbddhyaksha,) a 
superintendent, or an independent officer (mukhyaswdmi) issues or 
makes use of unauthorised orders or seals, he shall be punished 
with the first, middlemost, or highest amercement, or he may be 
condemned to death, or punished in any other way in proportion to 
the gravity of his crime. 

When a judge threatens, browbeats, sends out, or unjustly 
silences any one of the disputants in his court, he shall first of all be 

317 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



punished with the first amercement. If he defames or abuses any 
one of them, the punishment shall be doubled. If he does not ask 
what ought to be asked, or asks what ought not to be asked, or 
leaves out what he himself has asked, or teaches, reminds, or 
provides any one with previous statement, he shall be punished 
with the middle-most amercement. 

When a judge does not inquire into necessary circumstances, 
inquires into unnecessary circumstances, (desa), makes 
unnecessary delay in discharging his duty, postpones work with 
spite, causes parties to leave the court by tiring them with delay, 
evades or causes to evade statements that lead to the settlement of a 
case, helps witnesses giving them clues, or resumes cases already 
settled or disposed of, he shall be punished with the highest 
amercement. If he repeats the offence, he shall both be punished 
with double the above fine and dismissed. 

When a clerk does not take down what has been deposed by 
parties, but enters what has not been deposed, evades what has 
been badly said (duruktam), or renders either diverse or ambiguous 
in meaning such depositions as are satisfactorily given out, he shall 
be punished either with the first amercement or in proportion to his 
guilt. 

When a judge or commissioner imposes an unjust fine in 
gold, he shall be fined either double the amount of the fine, or eight 
times that amount of imposition which is either more or less than 
the prescribed limit. 

When a judge or commissioner imposes an unjust corporeal 
punishment, he shall himself be either condemned to the same 
punishment or made to pay twice the amount of ransom leviable 
for that kind of injustice. 

When a judge falsifies whatever is a true amount or declares 

318 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



as true whatever amount is false, he shall be fined eight times that 
amount. 

When an officer lets out or causes to let out offenders from 
lock-up (chdraka), obstructs or causes to obstruct prisoners in such 
of their daily avocations as sleeping, sitting, eating, or execreting, 
he shall be punished with fines ranging from 3 panas and upwards. 

When any person lets out or causes to let out debtors from 
lock-up, he shall not only be punished with the middlemost 
amercement, but also be compelled to pay the debt the offender has 
to pay. 

When a person lets out or causes to let out prisoners from jails 
(bandhandgdra), he shall be condemned to death and the whole of 
his property confiscated. 

When the superintendeat of jails puts any person in lock-up 
without declaring the grounds of provocation 
(samkrudhakamandkhydya), he shall be fined 24 panas; when he 
subjects any person to unjust torture, 48 panas; when he transfers a 
prisoner to another place, or deprives a prisoner of food and water, 
96 panas; when be troubles or receives bribes from a prisoner, he 
shall be punished, with the middlemost amercement; when he beats 
a prisoner to death, he shall be fined 1,000 panas. When a person 
commits rape with a captive, slave, or hired woman in lock-up, he 
shall be punished with the first amercement; when he commits rape 
with the wife of a thief, or of any other man who is dead in an 
epidemic (ddmara), he shall be punished with the middlemost 
amercement; and when he commits rape with an Arya woman in 
lock-up, he shall be punished with the highest amercement. 

When an offender kept in lock-up commits rape with an Arya 
woman in the same lock-up, he shall be condemned to death in the 

319 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



very place. 

When an officer commits rape with an Arya woman who has 
been arrested for untimely movement at night 
(akshanagrihitdydm), he shall also be hanged at the very spot; 
when a similar offence is committed with a woman under slavery, 
the offender shall be punished with the first amercement. 

(An officer) who causes a prisoner to escape from a lock-up 
without breaking it open, shall be punished with the middlemost 
amercement. (An officer) who causes a prisoner to escape from a 
lock-up after breaking it open, shall be condemned to death. When 
he lets out a prisoner from the jail, he shall be put to death and his 
property confiscated. 

Thus shall the king, with adequate punishments, test first the 
conduct of Government servants, and then shall, through those 
officers of approved character, examine the conduct of his people 
both in towns and villages. 

[Thus ends Chapter IX, "Protection of all kinds of Government 
Departments" in Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the eighty-sixth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER X. FINES IN LIEU OF MUTILATION OF 
LIMBS. 

WHEN Government servants (arthachara) commit for the 
first time such offences as violation of sacred institutions 
(tirthdghdta), or pickpocketing (granthibheda), they shall have 
their index finger cut off or shall pay a fine of 54 panas; when for a 

320 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



second time they commit the same, they shall have their ( ) cut 

off or pay a fine of 100 panas; when for a third time, they shall 
have their right hand cut off or pay a fine of 400 panas; and when 
for a fourth time, they shall in any way be put to death. 

When a person steals or destroys cocks, mangoose, cats, dogs 
or pigs, of less than 54 panas in value, he shall have the edge of his 
nose cut off or pay a fine of 54 panas. If these animals belong to 
either Chandalas or wild tribes half of the above fine shall be 
imposed. 

When any person steals wild beasts, cattle, birds, elephants, 
tigers, fish, or any other animals confined in traps, fences, or pits, 
he shall not only pay a fine equal to the value of the stolen animals, 
but also restore the animals. 

For stealing beasts or raw materials from forests, a fine of 100 
panas shall be imposed. For stealing or destroying dolls, beasts, or 
birds from infirmaries, twice the above fine shall be levied. 

When a person steals articles of small value, belonging to 
artisans, musicians, or ascetics he shall pay a fine of 100 panas; 
and when he steals big articles or any agricultural implements, he 
shall pay double the above fine. 

When any person enters into a fort without permission, or 
carries off treasure through a hole or passage in the wall of the fort, 
he shall either be beheaded or be made to pay a fine of 200 panas. 

When a person steals a cart, a boat or minor quadruped, he 
shall have one of his legs cut off or pay a fine of 300 panas. 

When a gambler substitutes false dice to be hired for a kdkani 
or any other accessory things of dice-play, or commits fraud by 

321 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



tricks of hand, he shall have his hand cut off or pay a fine of 400 
panas. 

When any person abets a thief or an adulterer, he as well as 
the woman who voluntarily yields herself for adultery shall have 
their ears and nose cut off or pay each a fine of 500 panas, while 
the thief or the adulterer shall pay double the above fine. 

When any person steals a big animal, abducts a male or 
female slave, or sells the articles belonging to a dead body 
(pretabhdndam), he shall have both of his legs cut off or pay a fine 
of 600 panas. 

When a man contemptuously rushes against the hands or legs 
of any person of a higher caste, or of a teacher, or mounts the horse, 
elephant, coach, etc., of the king, he shall have one of his legs and 
one of his hands cut off or pay a fine of 700 panas. 

When a Sudra calls himself a Brahman, or when any person 
steals the property of gods, conspires against the king, or destroys 
both the eyes of another, he shall either have his eyes destroyed by 
the application of poisonous ointment, or pay a fine of 800 panas. 

When a person causes a thief or an adulterer to be let off or 
adds or omits anything while writing down the king's order, 
abducts a girl or a slave possessed of gold, carries off any deceitful 
transaction, or sells rotten flesh, he shall either have his two legs 
and one hand cut off or pay a fine of 900 panas. 

Any person who sells human flesh shall be condemned to 
death. 

When a person steals images of gods or of animals, abducts 
men, or takes possession of fields, houses, gold, gold-coins, 
precious stones, or crops of others, he shall either be beheaded or 

322 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



compelled to pay the highest amercement. 

* Taking into consideration the (social position of) persons, the 
nature of the offence, the cause, whether grave or slight (that led to 
the perpetration of the offence), the antecedent and present 
circumstances, the time, and the place; 

* and without failing to notice equitable distinctions among 
offenders, whether belonging to royal family or to the common 
people, shall the commissioner determine the propriety of 
imposing the first, middlemost, or highest amercements. 

[Thus ends Chapter X, "Fines in lieu of mutilation of limbs" in 
Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns" of 'the Arthas as tra of Kautilya. 
End of the eighty- seventh chapter from the. beginning.] 



CHAPTER XI. DEATH WITH OR WITHOUT TORTURE. 

WHEN a man murders another in a quarrel, he shall be 
tortured to death. When a person wounded in a fight dies within 
seven nights, he who caused the wound shall be put to 
instantaneous death (suddhavadhah). If the wounded man dies 
within a fortnight, the offender shall be punished with the highest 
amercement. If the wounded man dies within a month, the offender 
shall be compelled to pay not only a fine of 500 panas, but also an 
adequate compensation (to the bereaved). 

When a man hurts another with a weapon, he shall pay the 
highest amercement; when he does so under intoxication, his hand 
shall be cut off; and when he causes instantaneous death, be shall 
be put to death. 



323 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When a person causes abortion in pregnancy by striking, or 
with medicine, or by annoyance, the highest, middlemost, and first 
amercements shall be imposed respectively. 

Those who cause violent death either to men or women, or 
those who are in the habit of often going to meet prostitutes 
(abhisdraka), those who inflict unjust punishment upon others, 
those who spread false or contemptuous rumours, who assault or 
obstruct travellers on their way, who commit house-breaking, or 
who steal or cause hurt to royal elephants, horses, or carriages shall 
be hanged. 

Whoever burns or carries away the corpses of the above 
offenders shall meet with similar punishment or pay the highest 
amercement. 

When a person supplies murderers or thieves with food, dress, 
any requisites, fire, information, any plan, or assistance in any way, 
he shall be punished with the highest amercement. When he does 
so under ignorance, he shall be censured. 

Sons or wives of murderers or of thieves shall, if they are 
found not in concert, be acquitted; but they shall be seized if found 
to have been in concert. 

Any person who aims at the kingdom, who forces entrance 
into the king's harem, who instigates wild tribes or enemies 
(against the king), or who creates disaffection in forts, country 
parts, or in the army shall be burnt alive from head to foot. 

If a Brahman does similar acts, he shall be drowned. 

Any person who murders his father, mother, son, brother, 
teacher, or an ascetic, shall be put to death by burning both his head 

324 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



and skin; if he insults any of the above persons, his tongue shall be 
cut off; if he bites any limb of these persons, be shall be deprived of 
the corresponding limb. 

When a man wantonly murders another, or steals a herd of 
cattle, he shall be beheaded. 

A herd of cattle shall be considered to consist of not more 
than ten heads. 

When a person breaks the dam of a tank full of water, he shall 
be drowned in the very tank; of a tank without water, he shall be 
punished with the highest amercement; and of a tank which is in 
ruins owing to neglect, he shall be punished with the middle-most 
amercement. 

Any man who poisons another and any woman who murders 
a man shall be drowned. 

Any woman who murders her husband, preceptor, or 
offspring, sets fire to another's property, poisons a man or cuts off 
any of the bodily joints of another shall be torn off by bulls, no 
matter whether or not she is big with a child, or has not passed a 
month after giving birth to a child. 

Any person who sets fire to pasture lands, fields, yards 
prepared for threshing out grains, houses, forests, of timber or of 
elephants shall be thrown into fire. 

Any person who insults the king, betrays the king's council, 
makes evil attempts (against the king), or disregards the sanctity of 
the kitchens of Brdhmans shall have his tongue cut off. 

When a man other than a soldier steals weapons or armour, 

325 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



he shall be shot down by arrows; if he is a soldier, he shall pay the 
highest amercement. 

He who castrates a man shall have his generative organ cut 
off. 

He who hurts the tongue or nose of another shall have his 
fingers cut off. 

* Such painful punishments (klesadanda) as the above have 
been laid down in the Sastras of great sages; but it has been 
declared as just to put to simple death those offenders who have not 
been cruel. 

[Thus ends Chapter XI, "Death with or without torture" in Book 
IV, "The Removal of Thorns" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End 
of the eighty-eighth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XII. SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH 
IMMATURE GIRLS. 

HE who defiles a maiden of equal caste before she has 
reached her maturity shall have his hand cut off or pay a fine of 400 
panas; if the maiden dies in consequence, the offender shall be put 
to death. 

He who defiles a maiden who has attained maturity shall have 
his middle finger cut off or pay a fine of 200 panas, besides giving 
an adequate compensation to her father. 

No man shall have sexual intercourse with any woman 

326 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



against her will. 

He who defiles a willing maiden shall pay a fine of 54 panas, 
while the maiden herself shall pay a fine of half the amount. 

When a man impersonates another man who has already paid 
the nuptial fee to a woman (parasulkopadhdydm), he shall have his 
hand cut off or pay a fine of 400 panas, besides making good the 
nuptial fee. 

No man who has connection with a maiden that has passed 
seven menses and has not yet succeeded in marrying her, though 
she has been betrothed to him, shall either be guilty or pay any 
compensation to her father; for her father has lost his authority over 
her in consequence of having deprived her so long of the result of 
her menses. 

It is no offence for a man of equal caste and rank to have 
connection with a maiden who has been unmarried three years after 
her first menses. Nor is it an offence for a man, even of different 
caste, to have connection with a maiden who has spent more than 
three years after her first menses and has no jewellery on her 
person; for taking possession of paternal property (under such 
circumstances) shall be regarded as theft. 

Any person who, while pretending to secure a bride to a 
particular person, ultimately obtains her for a third person shall be 
fined 200 panas. 

No man shall have sexual intercourse with any woman 
against her will. 

If a person substitutes in marriage another maiden for the one 
he has before shown, he shall, if the substitute is of the same rank, 
be fined 100 panas, and 200 panas if she is of lower rank. The 

327 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



substituted maiden shall be fined 54 panas, while the offender shall 
also be compelled to return both the nuptial fee and the amount of 
expenditure (incurred by the bridegroom). 

When a man refuses to live in marriage a particular maiden as 
agreed upon, he shall pay double the above fine. 

When a man substitutes in marriage a maiden of different 
blood or is found to have bestowed false praises (on her quality), he 
shall not only pay a fine of 200 panas and return the nuptial fee, but 
also make good the expenditure. 

No man shall have sexual intercourse with any woman 
against her will. 

When a woman being desirous of intercourse, yields herself 
to a man of the same caste and rank, she shall be fined 12 panas, 
while any other woman who is an abettor in the case shall be fined 
twice as much. Any woman who abets a man in having intercourse 
with a maiden against her will shall not only pay a fine of 100 
panas, but also please the maiden providing her with an adequate 
nuptial fee. 

A woman who, of her own accord, yields herself to a man 
shall be a slave to the king. 

For committing intercourse with a woman outside a village, 
or for spreading false report regarding such things, double the 
usual fines shall be imposed. 

He who carries off a maiden by force shall be fined 200 
panas; if the maiden thus carried off has golden ornaments on her 
person, the highest amercement shall be imposed. If a number of 
persons abduct a maiden, each of them shall be punished as above. 



328 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When a man has connection with a harlot's daughter, he shall 
not only pay a fine of 54 panas, but also give her mother sixteen 
times her daily income. 

When a man defiles the daughter of his own male or female 
slave, he shall not only pay a fine of 24 panas, but also provide the 
maiden with an adequate nuptial fee (sulka) and jewellery 
(dbaddhya). 

When a man has connection with a woman who has been held 
in slavery on account of certain ransom due from her, he shall not 
only pay a fine of 12 panas, but also provide the woman with dress 
and maintenance. 

Abettors in all the above cases shall each have the same 
punishment as the principal offender. 

A relative, or a servant of an absentee husband may take the 
latter's wife of loose character under his own protection 
(samgrihniyat = may marry her). Being under such protection, she 
shall wait for the return of her husband. If her husband, on his 
return, entertains no objection, both the protector and the woman 
shall be acquitted. If he raises any objection, the woman shall have 
her ears and nose cut off, while her keeper shall be put to death as 
an adulterer. 

When a man falsely accuses another of having committed 
theft while in reality the latter is guilty of adultery, the complainant 
shall be fined 500 panas. 

He who lets off an adulterer by receiving gold shall pay a fine 
of eight times the value of the gold (he received). 

(Adultery may be proved by circumstances such as) hand to 

329 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



hand fight, abduction, any marks made on the body of the culprits, 
opinion of experts on consideration of the circumstances, or the 
statements of women involved in it. 

When a man rescues a woman from enemies, forests, or 
floods, or saves the life of a woman who has been abandoned in 
forests, forsaken in famine, or thrown out as if dead, he may enjoy 
her as agreed upon during the rescue. 

A woman of high caste, with children and having no desire 
for sexual enjoyment, may be let off after receiving an adequate 
amount of ransom. 

* Those women who have been rescued from the hands of thieves, 
from floods, in famine, or in national calamities, or who, having 
been abandoned, missed, or thrown out as if dead in forests, have 
been taken home may be enjoyed by the rescuer as agreed upon. 

* But no such women as have been cast out under royal edict, or by 
their own kinsmen; nor such as belong to high caste, or do not like 
to be rescued, nor even those who have children shall be rescued 
either for ransom or for their person. 

[Thus ends Chapter XII, "Sexual Intercourse with Immature 
Girls," in Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns" of 'the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the eighty-ninth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIII. PUNISHMENT FOR VIOLATING 
JUSTICE. 

HE who causes a Brahman to partake of whatever food or 
drink is prohibited shall be punished with the highest amercement. 
He who causes a Kshatriya to do the same shall be punished with 

330 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the middlemost amercement; a Vaisya, with the first amercement; 
and a Siidra, with a fine of 54 panas. 

Those who voluntarily partake of whatever is condemned 
either as food or drink shall be outcast. 

He who forces his entrance into another's house during the 
day shall be punished with the first amercement; and during the 
night with the middlemost. Any person who with weapon in hand 
enters into another's house either during the day or night shall be 
punished with the highest amercement. 

When beggars or peddlers and lunatics or mad persons 
attempt to enter into a house by force, or when neighbours force 
their entrance into a house in danger, they shall not be punished 
provided no such entrance is specially prohibited. 

He who mounts the roof of his own house after midnight shall 
be punished with the first amercement; and of another's house, with 
the middlemost amercement. 

Those who break the fences of villages, gardens, or fields 
shall also be punished with the middlemost amercement. 

Having made the value, etc., of their merchandise known (to 
the headman of the village), traders shall halt in some part of a 
village. When any part of their merchandise which has not been 
truly sent out of the village during the night has been stolen or lost, 
the headman of the village shall make good the loss. 

Whatever of their merchandise is stolen or lost in the 
intervening places between any two villages shall the 
superintendent of pasture lands make good. If there are no pasture 
lands (in such places), the officer called Chorarajjuka shall make 
good the loss. If the loss of merchandise occurs in such parts of the 

331 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



country as are not provided even with such security (a 
Chorarajjuka), the people in the boundaries of the place shall 
contribute to make up the loss. If there are no people in the 
boundaries, the people of five or ten villages of the neighbourhood 
shall make up the loss. 

Harm due to the construction of unstable houses, carts with no 
support or with a beam or weapon hung above or with damaged 
support or with no covering, and harm due to causing a cart to fall 
in pits, or a tank, or from a dam, shall be treated as assault. 

Cutting of trees, stealing the rope with which a tameable 
animal is tied, employing untamed quadrupeds, throwing sticks, 
mud, stones, rods, or arrows on chariots or elephants, raising or 
waiving the arm against chariots or elephants, shall also be treated 
as assault. 

(The charioteer) who cries out (to a passer-by) 'get out' shall 
not be punished for collision (samghattane). 

A man who is hurt to death by an elephant under provocation 
(caused by himself) shall supply not only a kumbha of liquor (less 
by a drona), garlands, and scents but also as much cloth as is 
necessary to wash the tusks; for death caused by an elephant is as 
meritorious as the sacred bath taken at the end of a horse-sacrifice. 
Hence this offer (of liquor, etc.), is known as 'washing the legs.' 

When an indifferent passer-by is killed by an elephant the 
driver shall be punished with the highest amercement. 

When the owner of a horned or tusked animal does not rescue 
a man from being destroyed by his animal, he shall be punished 
with the first amercement. If he heedlessly keeps quite from 
rescuing though entreated, he shall be punished with twice the first 

332 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



amercement. 

When a person causes or allows horned or tusked animals to 
destroy each other, he shall not only pay a fine equal to the value of 
the destroyed animal or animals, but also make good the loss (to 
the sufferer). 

When a man rides over an animal which is left off in the name 
of gods, or over a bull, an ox, or over a female calf, he shall be 
fined 500 panas. He who drives away the above animals shall be 
punished with the highest amercement. 

When a person carries off such inferior quadrupeds as are 
productive of wool or milk, or are useful for loading or riding, he 
shall not only pay a fine equal to their value, but also restore them. 

The same punishment shall be imposed in the case of driving 
away inferior quadrupeds for purposes other than ceremonials 
performed in honour of gods or ancestors. 

When an animal which has its nose-string cut off or which is 
not well tamed to yoke causes hurt; or when an animal, either 
coming furiously against a man or receding backwards with the 
cart to which it is tied, causes hurt or when an animal causes hurt in 
confusion brought about by the thronging of people and other 
animals; the owner of the animal shall not be punished;, but for 
hurt caused to men under circumstances other than the above, fines 
shall be imposed as laid down before, while the loss of any animal 
life due to such causes shall be made good. If the driver of a cart or 
carriage causing hurt is a minor, the master inside the cart or 
carriage shall be punished. In the absence of the master, any person 
who is seated inside, or the driver himself if he has attained his 
majority shall be punished. Carts or carriages occupied by a minor 
or with no person shall be taken possession of by the king. 



333 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whatever a man attempts to do to others by witch-craft shall 
be (practically) applied to the doer himself. Witch-craft merely to 
arouse love in an indifferent wife, in a maiden by her lover, or in a 
wife by her husband is no offence. But when it is injurious to 
others, the doer shall be punished with the middle most 
amercement. 

When a man performs witch-craft to win the sister of his own 
father or mother, the wife of a maternal uncle or of a preceptor, his 
own daughter-in-law, daughter, or sister, he shall have his limb cut 
off and also put to death, , while any woman who yields herself to 
such an offender shall also, receive similar punishment. Any 
woman who yields herself to a slave, a servant, or a hired labourer 
shall be similarly punished. 

A Kshatriya who commits adultery with an unguarded 
Brahman woman shall be punished with the highest amercement; a 
Vaisya doing the same shall be deprived of the whole of his 
property; and a Sudra shall be burnt alive wound round in mats. 

Whoever commits adultery with the queen of the land shall be 
burnt alive in a vessel (kumbhilpdkah.) 

A man who commits adultery with a woman of low caste shall 
be banished with prescribed mark branded on his fore-head, or 
shall be degraded to the same caste. 

A Sudra or a svapdka who commits adultery with a woman of 
low caste shall be put to death, while the woman shall have her ears 
and nose cut off. 

Adultery with a nun (pravrajitd) shall be punishable with a 
fine of 24 panas while the nun who submits herself shall also pay a 
similar fine. 

334 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



A man who forces his connection with a harlot shall be fined 
12 panas. 

When many persons perform witch-craft towards a single 
woman, each of them shall be punished with a fine of 24 panas. 

When a man has connection with a woman against the order 
of nature (a-yonau), he shall be punished with the first 
amercement. 

A man having sexual intercourse with another man shall also 
pay the first amercement. 

* When a senseless man has sexual intercourse with beasts, he shall 
be fined 12 panas; when he comits the same act with idols 
(representatives) of goddesses (daivatapratimd), he shall be fined 
twice as much. 

* When the king punishes an innocent man, he shall throw into 
water dedicating to god Varuna a fine equal to thirty times the 
unjust imposition; and this amount shall afterwards be distributed 
among the Brdhmans. 

* By this act, the king will be free from the sin of unjust imposition; 
for king Varuna is the ruler of sinners among men. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIII, "Punishment for violating justice" in 
Book IV, "The Removal of Thorns" of 'the Arthas as tra of Kautilya. 
End of the ninetieth chapter from the beginning. With this ends the 
fourth Book, "The removal of of thorns" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 253-296. 



335 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book V, "The Conduct of 
Courtiers" 

CHAPTER I. CONCERNING THE AWARDS OF 
PUNISHMENTS. 

MEASURES necessary to remove the thorns of public peace 
both in fortified cities and country parts have been dealt with. We 
shall now proceed to treat of measures to suppress treason against 
the king and his kingdom. 

With regard to those chiefs who, though living by service 
under the king, are inimically disposed towards him, or have taken 
the side of his enemy, a spy with secret mission or one in the guise 
of an ascetic and devoted to the king's cause shall set to work as 
described before; or a spy trained in the art of sowing the seeds of 
dissension may set to work, as will be described in connection with 
the 'Invasion of an enemy's villages.' 

The king in the interests of righteousness may inflict 
punishment in secret on those courtiers or confederacy of chiefs 
who are dangerous to the safety of the kingdom and who cannot be 
put down in open daylight. 

A spy may instigate the brother of a seditious minister and 
with necessary inducements, take him to the king for an interview. 
The king, having conferred upon him the title to possess and enjoy 
the property of his seditious brother, may cause him to attack his 
brother; and when he murders his brother with a weapon or with 
poison, he shall be put to death in the same spot under the plea that 
he is a parricide. 

The same measure will explain the proceedings to be taken 

336 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



against a seditious Pdrasava (one who is begotten by a Brahman 
on Sudra wife), and a seditious son of a woman- servant. 

Or instigated by a spy, the brother of a seditious minister may 
put forward his claim for inheritance. While the claimant is lying at 
night at the door of the house of the seditious minister or 
elsewhere, a fiery spy (tishna) may murder him and declare "Alas ! 
the claimant for inheritance is thus murdered (by his brother)." 
Then taking the side of the injured party, the king may punish the 
other (the seditious minister). 

Spies in the presence of a seditious minister may threaten to 
beat his brother claiming inheritance. Then "while the claimant is 
lying at the door of, etc." as before. 

The same proceedings will explain the quarrel fraudulently 
caused to crop up between any two seditious ministers, in whose 
family a son or a father has had sexual intercourse with a 
daughter-in-law, or a brother with the wife of another brother. 

A spy may flatter to the vanity of a seditious minister's son, of 
gentle manners and dignified conduct by telling him "Though thou 
art the king's son, thou art kept here in fear of enemies." The king 
may secretly honour this deluded person and tell him that 
"apprehending danger from the minister, I have put off thy 
installation, though thou hast attained the age of heir apparent." 
Then the spy may instigate him to murder the minister. The task 
being accomplished, he, too, may be put to death in the same spot 
under the plea that he is a parricide. 

A mendicant woman, having captivated the wife of a 
seditious minister by administering such medicines as excite the 
feelings of love, may through that wife contrive to poison the 
minister. 



337 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Failing these measures, the king may send a seditious 
minister with an army of inefficient soldiers and fiery spies to put 
down a rebellious wild tribe or a village, or to set up a new 
superintendent of countries or of boundaries in a locality bordering 
upon a wilderness, or to bring under control a highly-rebellious 
city, or to fetch a caravan bringing in the tribute due to the king 
from a neighbouring country. In an affray (that ensues in 
consequence of the above mission) either by day or at night, the 
fiery spies, or spies under the guise of robbers (pratirodhaka) may 
murder the minister and declare that he was killed in the battle. 

While marching against an enemy or being engaged in sports, 
the king may send for his seditious ministers for an interview. 
While leading the ministers to the king, fiery spies with concealed 
weapons shall, in the middle enclosure of the king's pavilion, offer 
themselves to be searched for admittance into the interior, and, 
when caught, with their weapons by the door-keepers, declare 
themselves to be the accomplices of the seditious ministers. 
Having made this affair known to the public, the door-keepers shall 
put the ministers to death, and in the place of the fiery spies, some 
others are to be hanged. 

While engaged in sports outside the city, the king may honour 
his seditious ministers with accommodation close to his own. A 
woman of bad character under the guise of the queen may be 
caught in the apartment of these ministers and steps may be taken 
against them as before. 

A sauce-maker or a sweetmeat-maker may request of a 
seditious minister some sauce and sweetmeat by flattering 
him— "thou alone art worthy of such things." Having mixed those 
two things and half a cup of water with poison, he may substitute 
those things in the luncheon (of the king) outside the city. Having 
made this event known to the public, the king may put them (the 

338 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



minister and the cook) to death under the plea that they are 
poisoners. 

If a seditious minister is addicted to witchcraft, a spy under 
the guise of an accomplished wizard may make him believe that by 
manifesting (in witchcraft) any one of the beautiful things,— a pot 
containing an alligator, or a tortoise or crab— he can attain his 
desired end. While, with this belief, he is engaged in the act of 
witchcraft, a spy may murder him either by poisoning him or by 
striking him with an iron bar, and declare that he brought his own 
death by his proclivity to witchcraft. 

A spy under the guise of a physician may make a seditious 
minister believe that he is suffering from a fatal or incurable 
disease and contrive to poison him while prescribing medicine and 
diet to him. 

Spies under the guise of sauce-makers and sweet 
meat-makers may, when opportunity occurs, contrive to poison 
him. 

Such are the secret measures to get rid of seditious persons. 

As to measures to get rid of seditious persons conspiring 
against both the king and his kingdom: -- 

When a seditious person is to be got rid of, another seditious 
person with an army of inefficient soldiers and fiery spies may be 
sent with the mission: "Go out into this fort or country and raise an 
army or some revenue; deprive a courtier of his gold; bring by 
force the daughter of a courtier; build a fort; open a garden; 
construct a road for traffic; set up a new village; exploit a mine; 
form forest-preserves for timber or elephants; set up a district or a 
boundary; and arrest and capture those who prevent your work or 
do not give you help." Similarly the other party may be instructed 

339 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



to curb the spirit of the above person. When a quarrel arises 
between the two parties at work, fiery spies under cover may throw 
their weapons and murder the seditious person; and others are to be 
arrested and punished for the crime. 

When with reference to boundaries, field-produce, and 
boundaries of houses, or with reference to any damage done to 
things, instruments, crops, and beasts of burden or on occasions of 
witnessing spectacles and processions, any dispute, real or caused 
by fiery spies, arises in seditious towns, villages, or families, fiery 
spies may hurl weapons and say: "This is what is done to them who 
quarrel with this man"; and for this offence others may be 
punished. 

When there arises a quarrel among seditious persons, fiery 
spies may set fire to their fields, harvest-grounds, and houses, hurl 
weapons on their relatives, friends and beasts of burden, and say 
that they did so at the instigation of the seditious; and for this 
offence others may be punished. 

Spies may induce seditious persons in forts or in country parts 
to be each other's guests at a dinner in which poisoners may 
administer poison; and for this offence others may be punished. 

A mendicant woman may delude a seditious chief of a district 
into the belief that the wife, daughter, or daughter-in-law of 
another seditious chief of another district loves the former. She 
may take the jewellery which the deluded chief gives her (for 
delivery to the wife, daughter, etc.), and, presenting it before the 
other chief, narrate that this chief in the pride of his youth makes 
love to the other's wife, daughter, or daughter-in-law. When at 
night a duel arises between the two chiefs, etc., as before. 

The prince or the commander of the army may confer some 
benefit upon such inimical persons as have been cowed down by a 

340 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



seditious army, and may declare his displeasure against them 
afterwards. And then some other persons, who are equally cowed 
down by another seditious army of the king, may be sent against 
the former along with an army of inefficient soldiers and fiery 
spies. Thus all the measures to get rid of seditious persons are of 
the same type. 

Whoever among the sons of the seditious persons thus put 
down shows no perturbance of mind shall receive his father's 
property. It is only thus that the whole of the country will loyally 
follow the sons and grandsons of the king, and will be free from all 
troubles caused by men. 

* Possessed of forbearance and apprehending no disturbance 
either in the present or future, the king may award punishments in 
secret both upon his own subjects and those who uphold the 
enemy's cause. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Concerning the Awards of Punishments" in 
Book V. "The Conduct of Courtiers" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the ninety-first chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER II. REPLENISHMENT OF THE TREASURY. 

THE king who finds himself in a great financial trouble and 
needs money, may collect (revenue by demand). In such parts of 
his country as depend solely upon rain for water and are rich in 
grain, he may demand of his subjects one-third or one-fourth of 
their grain according to their capacity. He shall never demand of 
such of his subjects as live in tracts of middle or low quality; nor of 
people who are of great help in the construction of fortifications, 

341 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



gardens, buildings, roads for traffic, colonisation of waste lands, 
exploitation of mines, and formation of forest-preserves for timber 
and, elephants; nor of people who live on the border of his 
kingdom or who have not enough subsistence. He shall, on the 
other hand, supply with grain and cattle those who colonise waste 
lands. He may purchase for gold one-fourth of what remains, after 
deducting as much of the grain as is required for seeds and 
subsistence of his subjects. He shall avoid the property of forest 
tribes, as well as of Brdhmans learned in the Vedas (srotriya). He 
may purchase this, too, offering favourable price (to the owners). 
Failing these measures, the servants of the collector-general may 
prevail upon the peasantry to raise summer crops. Saying that 
double the amount of fines will be levied from those who are guilty 
(among peasants), they (the king's employees) shall sow seeds in 
sowing seasons. When crops are ripe, they may beg a portion of 
vegetable and other ripe produce except what is gleaned in the 
form of vegetables and grains. They shall avoid the grains scattered 
in harvest-fields, so that they may be utilised in making offerings to 
gods and ancestors on occasions of worship, in feeding cows, or for 
the subsistence of mendicants and village employees 
(grdlmabhritaka). 

Whoever conceals his own grain shall pay a fine of eight 
times the amount in each kind; and whoever steals the crops of 
another person shall pay a fine of fifty times the amount, provided 
the robber belongs to the same community (svavarga); but if he is a 
foreigner, he shall be put to death. They (the king's employees) 
may demand of cultivators one-fourth of their grain, and one-sixth 
of forest produce (yanya) and of such commodities as cotton, wax, 
fabrics, barks of trees, hemp, wool, silk, medicines, sandal, 
flowers, fruits, vegetables, firewood, bamboos, flesh, and dried 
flesh. They may also take one-half of all ivory and skins of 
animals, and punish with the first amercement those who trade in 
any article without obtaining a license from the king. So much for 



342 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



demands on cultivators. 

Merchants dealing in gold, silver, diamonds, precious stones, 
pearls, coral, horses, and elephants shall pay 50 karas. Those that 
trade in cotton threads, clothes, copper, brass, bronze, sandal, 
medicines, and liquor shall pay 40 karas. Those that trade in grains, 
liquids, metals (loha), and deal with carts shall pay 30 karas. Those 
that carry on their trade in glass (kacha); and also artisans of fine 
workmanship shall pay 20 karas. Articles of inferior workmanship, 
as well as those who keep prostitutes, shall pay 10 karas. Those 
that trade in firewood, bamboos, stones, earthen-pots, cooked rice, 
and vegetables shall pay 5 karas. Dramatists and prostitutes shall 
pay half of their wages. The entire property of goldsmiths shall be 
taken possession of; and no offence of theirs shall be forgiven; for 
they carry on their fraudulent trade while pretending at the same 
time to be honest and innocent. So much about demands on 
merchants. 

Persons rearing cocks and pigs shall surrender to the 
Government half of their stock of animals. Those that rear inferior 
animals shall give one-sixth. Those that keep cows, buffaloes, 
mules, asses, and camels shall give one-tenth (of their live-stock). 
Those who maintain prostitutes (bandhakiposhaka), shall, with the 
help of women noted for their beauty and youth in the service of 
the king, collect revenue. So much about demands on herdsmen. 

Such demands shall be made only once and never twice. 
When such demands are not made, the collector general shall seek 
subscriptions from citizens and country people alike under false 
pretences of carrying this or that kind of business. Persons taken in 
concert shall publicly pay handsome donations and with this 
example, the king may demand of others among his subjects. Spies 
posing as citizens shall revile those who pay less. Wealthy persons 
may be requested to give as much of their gold as they can. Those 

343 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



who, of their own accord or with the intention of doing good, offer 
their wealth to the king shall be honoured with a rank in the court, 
an umbrella, or a turban or some ornaments in return for their gold. 
Spies, under the guise of sorcerers, shall, under the pretence 
of ensuring safety, carry away the money, not only of the society of 
heretics and of temples, but also of a dead man and of a man whose 
house is burnt, provided that it is not enjoyable by Brdhmans. 

The Superintendent of Religious Institutions may collect in 
one place the various kinds of property of the gods of fortified 
cities and country parts and carry away the property (to the king's 
treasury). 

Or having on some night set up a god or an altar, or having 
opened a sacred place of ascetics or having pointed out an evil 
omen, the king may collect subsistence under the pretence of 
holding processions and congregations (to avert calamities). 

Or else he shall proclaim the arrival of gods, by pointing out 
to the people any of the sacred trees in the king's garden which has 
produced untimely flowers and fruits. 

Or by causing a false panic owing to the arrival of an evil 
spirit on a tree in the city, wherein a man is hidden making all sorts 
of devilish noises, the king's spies, under the guise of ascetics, may 
collect money (with a view to propitiate the evil spirit and send it 
back). 

Or spies may call upon spectators to see a serpent with 
numberless heads in a well connected with a subterranean passage 
and collect fees from them for the sight. Or they may place in a 
borehole made in the body of an image of a serpent, or in a hole in 
the corner of a temple, or in the hollow of an ant-hill, a cobra, 
which is, by diet, rendered unconscious, and call upon credulous 

344 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



spectators to see it (on payment of a certain amount of fee). As to 
persons who are not by nature credulous, spies may sprinkle over 
or give a drink of, such sacred water as is mixed with anasthetic 
ingredients and attribute their insensibility to the curse of gods. Or 
by causing an outcast person (dbhitydktd) to be bitten by a cobra, 
spies may collect revenue under the pretext of undertaking 
remedial measures against ominous phenomena. 

Or one of the king's spies in the garb of a merchant, may 
become a partner of a rich merchant and carry on trade in concert 
with him. As soon as a considerable amount of money has been 
gathered as sale -proceeds, deposits and loans, he may cause 
himself to be robbed of the amount. 

This will explain what the examiner of coins and the 
state-goldsmith may also do. 

Or else a spy, in the garb of a rich merchant, or a real rich 
merchant famous for his vast commerce, may borrow or take on 
pledge vast quantities of gold, silver, and other commodities, or 
borrow from corporations bar gold, or coined gold for various 
kinds of merchandise to be procured from abroad. After having 
done this he may allow himself to be robbed of it the same night. 

Prostitute spies under the garb of chaste women, may cause 
themselves to be enamoured of persons who are seditious. No 
sooner are the seditious persons seen within the abode of the 
female spies than they shall be seized and their property 
confiscated to the Government. Or whenever a quarrel arises 
between any two seditious parties of the same family, poisoners, 
previously engaged for the purpose, may administer poison to one 
party; and the other party may be accused of the offence and 
deprived of their, property. 



345 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



An outcast, under the guise of a high-born man, may claim 
from a seditious person a large amount of money professed to have 
been placed in the latter's custody by the claimant, or a large debt 
outstanding against the seditious person, or a share of parental 
property. (An outcast) may pretend to be the slave of a seditious 
person; and he may represent the wife, daughter, or 
daughter-in-law of the seditious person as a slave- woman or as his 
own wife; and when the outcast is lying at the door of the seditious 
person's house at night or is living elsewhere, a fiery spy may 
murder him and declare:— "The claimant (of his own property or 
wife) has been thus killed." And for this offence others (i.e., the 
seditious person and his followers) shall be deprived of their 
property. 

Or a spy, under the garb of an ascetic, may offer inducements 
to a seditious person to acquire more wealth by taking in aid the art 
of witchcraft, and say:— "I am proficient in such witchcraft as 
brings inexhaustible wealth, or entitles a man to get admission into 
the king's palace, or can win the love of any woman, or can put an 
end to the life of one's enemy, or can lengthen the duration of one's 
life, or can give a son to any one, if desired." If the seditious person 
shows his desire to carry on the process of witchcraft securing 
wealth, the spy may make rich offerings, consisting of flesh, wine, 
and scent to the deity near an altar in a burial-ground wherein a 
dead body of a man or of a child with a little quantity of money has 
been previously hidden. After the performance of worship is over, 
the hidden treasure may be dug out and the seditious person, may 
be told that as the offerings fell short, the treasure is 
proportionately small; that the richest of offerings should be made 
to acquire vast amount of treasure, and that he may purchase with 
the newly-acquired wealth rich offerings. Then he may be caught 
in the very act of purchasing commodities for offering. 

A female spy, under the garb of a bereaved mother, may (in 

346 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



connection with the above case) raise an alarm, crying that her 
child was murdered (for the purposes of witchcraft). 

When a seditious person is engaged in sorcery at night or in a 
sacrificial performance in a forest, or in sports in a park, fiery spies 
may murder him and carry away the corpse as that of an outcast. 

Or a spy, under the garb of a servant of a seditious person, 
may mix counterfeit coins with the wages (he has received from his 
master), and pave the way for his arrest. 

Or a spy, under the garb of a goldsmith, may undertake to do 
some work in the house of a seditious person, and gather in his 
employer's house such instruments as are necessary to manufacture 
counterfeit coins. 

A spy, under the garb of a physician, may declare a healthy 
person of seditious character to be unhealthy (and administer 
poison). Or a spy, attending as a servant upon a seditious person 
may not only call for an explanation from another fraudulent spy as 
to how certain articles necessary for the installation of a king and 
also the letters of an enemy came into the possession of his master, 
but also volunteer an explanation himself. 

Measures such as the above shall be taken only against the 
seditious and the wicked and never against others. 

* Just as fruits are gathered from a garden as often as they 
become ripe, so revenue shall be collected as often as it becomes 
ripe. Collection of revenue or of fruits, when unripe, shall never be 
carried on, lest their source may be injured, causing immense 
trouble. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Replenishment of the Treasury" in Book 
V, "The Conduct of Courtiers" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End 

347 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



of the ninety- second chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. CONCERNING SUBSISTENCE TO 
GOVERNMENT SERVANTS. 

IN accordance with the requirements of his forts and country 
parts, the king should fix under one-fourth of the total revenue the 
charges of maintaining his servants. He should look to the bodily 
comforts of his servants by providing such emoluments as can 
infuse in them the spirit of enthusiasm to work. He should not 
violate the course of righteousness and wealth. 

The sacrificial priest (ritvig), the teacher, the minister, the 
priest (purohita), the commander of the army, the heir-apparent 
prince, the mother of the king, and the queen shall (each receive) 
48,000 (panas per annum). With this amount of subsistence, they 
will scarcely yield themselves to temptation and hardly be 
discontented. 

The door-keeper, the superintendent of the harem 
(antarvamsika) the commander (prasdstri), the collector-general, 
and the chamberlain, 24,000. With this amount they become 
serviceable. 

The prince (kumdra), the nurse of the prince, the chief 
constable (ndyaka), the officer in charge of the town (paura) the 
superintendent of law or commerce (vydvahdrika), the 
superintendent of manufactories (karmdntika), members of the 
council of ministers, the superintendents of country parts and of 
boundaries, 12,000. With this they will be loyal and powerful 
supporters of the king's cause. 

348 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The chiefs of military corporations, the chiefs of elephants, of 
horses, of chariots and of infantry and commissioners 
(pradeshtdrah), 8,000. With this amount they can have a good 
following in their own communities. 

The Superintendents of infantry, of cavalry, of chariots and of 
elephants, the guards of timber and elephant forests, 4,000. 

The chariot-driver, the physician of the army, the trainer of 
horses, the carpenter, (vardhaki), and those who rear animals 
(yoniposhaka), 2,000. 

The foreteller, the reader of omens, the astrologer, the reader 
of Purdnas, the storyteller, the bard (mdgadha), the retinue of the 
priest, and all superintendents of departments, 1,000. 

Trained soldiers, the staff of accountants and writers, 500. 

Musicians (kusilava), 250. Of these, the trumpet-blowers 
(turyakara) shall get twice as much wages as others. Artisans and 
carpenters, 120. 

Servants in charge of quadrupeds and bipeds, workmen doing 
miscellaneous work, attendants upon the royal person, 
body-guards, and the procurer of free labourers shall receive a 
salary of 60 panas. 

The honourable play-mate of the king (dryayukta), the 
elephant-driver, the sorcerer (manavaka), miners of mountains 
(sailakhanaka), all kinds of attendants, teachers, and learned men 
shall have honorarium ranging from 500 to 1,000 (panas) 
according to their merit. 

A messenger of middle quality shall receive 10 panas for 

349 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



each yojana he travels; and twice as much when he travels from 10 
to 100 yojanas. 

Whoever represents the king in the rdjasuya and other 
sacrifices shall get three times as much as is paid to others who are 
equal to him in learning; and the charioteer of the king (in the 
sacrifices), 1,000. 

Spies such as the fradulent (kdpatika), the indifferent 
(uddsthita), the house-holder, the merchant, and the ascetic 1,000. 

The village- servant (grdmabhritaka), fiery spies, poisoners 
and mendicant women, 500 (panas). 

Servants leading the spies, 250 or in proportion to the work 
done by them. 

Superintendents of a hundred or a thousand coinmunities 
(varga) shall regulate the subsistence, wages, profits, appointinent, 
and transference (vikshepa), of the men under them. 

There shall be no transference of officers employed to guard 
the royal buildings, forts, and country parts. The chief officers 
employed to superintend the above places shall be many and shall 
permanently hold the same office. 

The sons and wives of those who die while on duty shall get 
subsistence and wages. Infants, aged persons, or deceased persons 
related to the deceased servants shall also be shown favour. On 
occasions of funerals, sickness, or child-birth, the king shall give 
presentations to his servants concerned therein. 

When wanting in money, the king may give forest produce, 
cattle, or fields along with a small amount of money. If he is 
desirous to colonise waste lands, he shall make payments in money 

350 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



alone; and if he is desirous of regulating the affairs of all villages 
equally, then he shall give no village to any (of his servants). 

Thus the king shall not only maintain his servants, but also 
increase their subsistence and wages in consideration of their 
learning and work. 

Substituting one ddhaka for the solar of 60 panas payment in 
gold may be commuted for that in kind. 

Footmen, horses, chariots, and elephants shall be given 
necessary training in the art of war at sunrise, on all days but those 
of conjunction (of planets), on these occasions of training, the king 
shall ever be present and witness their exercise. 

Weapons and armour shall be entered into the armoury only 
after they are marked with the king's seal. 

Persons with weapons shall not be allowed to move anywhere 
unless they are permitted by a passport. 

When weapons are either lost or spoilt, the superintendent 
shall pay double their value; an account of the weapons that are 
destroyed shall be kept up. 

Boundary-guards shall take away the weapons and armour 
possessed by caravans unless the latter are provided with a passport 
to travel with weapons. 

When starting on a military tour, the king shall put his army in 
action. On such occasions, spies, under the garb of merchants, shall 
supply to military stations all kinds of merchandise for double the 
quantity of the same to be repaid in future. Thus not only is there 
afforded an opportunity for the sale of the king's merchandise, but 

351 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



also is there a way opened for a good return for the wages paid. 

Thus, when both the receipts and expenditure are properly 
cared for, the king will never find himself in financial or military 
difficulties. 

Such are the alternatives with regard to subsistence and 
wages. 

* Spies, prostitutes, artisans, singers, and aged military 
officers shall vigilantly examine the pure or impure conduct of 
military men. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "Concerning Subsistence to Government 
Servants" in Book V, "The Conduct of Courtiers" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the ninety-third chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. THE CONDUCT OF A COURTIER. 

WHOEVER possesses enough experience of the world and its 
affairs may, through the influence of an interested friend, seek the 
favour of a king who is endowed with amiable qualities and is 
possessed of all the elements of sovereignty. He may court the 
favour of any king provided he thinks:— Just as I am in need of a 
patron, so is this king possessed of a taste for good advice and is of 
amiable character. He may even court the favour of such a king as 
is poor and destitute of the elements of sovereignty, but never, of 
such a one as is of a depraved character: whoever, as a king, is 
destitute of good temper and amiable character cannot, by reason 
of his habitual hatred of the science of polity and an inborn 
proclivity to evil ways, maintain his sovereignty, though he is 

352 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



possessed of immense sovereign power. 

Having obtained admittance to an amiable king, he shall give 
the king instructions in sciences. Absence of contradiction from the 
king will render his position secure. When his opinion is sought 
about present or future schemes needing much thought and 
consideration, he may boldly and sensibly, and with no fear of 
contradiction from the assembly of ministers, pronounce his 
opinion so as to be in harmony with the principles of righteousness 
and economy. When required, he may answer questions on points 
of righteousness and economy (and tell the king): 

"Following the rule that there should be no delay in putting 
down by force even a strong confederacy of wicked people, you 
should apply force against the wicked, if they have a strong 
support; do not despise my advice, character and secrets; and by 
means of gestures, I shall prevent you from inflicting punishments 
on any one, when you are going to do so either willfully or under 
provocation." 

With such agreements with the king, he (a courtier) may enter 
on the duty assigned to him. He shall sit by the side of, and close to, 
the king and far from the seat of another courtier. He shall avoid 
speaking slyly against the opinion of any member of the assembly; 
he shall never make incredible or false statements; nor loud 
laughter with no cause for jest, and loud noise and spittle. He shall 
also avoid talking to another in secret, mutual conversation with 
another in the assembly (of ministers), appearing in royal dress in 
the public, haughtiness, buffoonery, open request for gems and 
promotions, seeing with one eye, biting the lips, brow-beating, 
interrupting the king while speaking, enmity with a strong party, 
association with women, pimps, messengers of foreign kings, 
enemies, inimical parties, dismissed officers, and wicked people, 
stubborn adherence to a single purpose, and contact with any 

353 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



confederacy of men. 

* Without losing the opportune moments, he should speak of the 
king's interest; of his own interest when in company with persons 
friendly to him; and of others interests in a suitable time and place, 
and in conformity to the principles of righteousness and economy. 

* When asked, he should tell the king what is both good and 
pleasing, but not what is bad, though pleasing; if the king is pleased 
to listen, he may secretly tell what, though unpleasant, is good. 

* He may even keep silence, but. should never describe what is 
hateful; by abstaining from talking of what the king hates, even 
undesirable persons have become powerful when, seeing that the 
king likes only pleasant things without caring for their evil 
consequences, they have followed his will. 

* While laughing in jest, he should avoid loud laughter; he shall 
avoid evil aspersions against others, nor ascribe evil to others; he 
shall forgive evil done to himself and have as much forbearance as 
the earth. 

* Self -protection shall be the first and constant thought of a wise 
man; for the life of a man under the service of a king is aptly 
compared to life in fire; whereas fire burns a part or the whole of 
the body, if at all, the king has the power either to destroy or to 
advance the whole family, consisting of sons and wives, of his 
servants. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "The Conduct of a Courtier" in Book V, 
"The Conduct of Courtiers" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 
the ninety-fourth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. TIME-SERVING. 

354 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



WHEN employed as a minister, he (the courtier) shall show 
the net revenue that remains after all kinds of expenditure are met 
with. He shall also give the exact particulars— as this is thus— of 
whatever work is external, internal, secret, open, costly, or 
negligible. He shall follow the king in his pursuits after hunting, 
gambling, drinking, and sexual pleasures. Ever attending upon the 
king, he shall, by flattery, endeavour to arrest his fall into evil 
habits and save him from the intrigues, plots, and deceptions of 
enemies. He shall also endeavour to read the mind and appearance 
of the king. 

By way of collecting his wandering thoughts into a resolve, 
the king exhibits in his appearance and movements his inclination, 
anger, pleasure, sorrow, determination, fear, and change in the 
pairs of opposite feelings. 

"By cognising wisdom in others, he is pleased; he attends to 
the speech of others; he gives a seat; allows himself to be seen in 
private; does not suspect in places of suspicion; takes delight in 
conversation; spontaneously looks to things without being 
reminded; tolerates what is said agreeably to reason; orders with 
smiling face; touches with the hand; does not laugh at what is 
commendable; commends the qualities of another behind him; 
remembers (the courtier) while taking luncheon; engages himself 
in sports accompanied by (the courtier); consults (the courtier) 
when in trouble; honours the followers of the courtier; reveals the 
secret; honours the courtier more and more; gives him wealth; and 
averts his troubles;— these are the signs of the king's satisfaction 
(with the courtier)." 

The reverse of the above indicates his (the king's) displeasure. 
Still, we shall describe them in plain terms:— 

Angry appearance when the courtier is in sight; evading or 
refusal to hear his speech; no inclination to give him a seat or to see 

355 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



him; change in syllables and accents while talking to him; seeing 
with one eye; brow-beating; biting the lips; rise of sweat; hard 
breathing and smiling with no palpable cause; talking to himself; 
sudden bending or raising of the body; touching the body or the 
seat of another; molestation to another; contempt of learning, caste, 
and country (of the courtier); condemnation of a colleague of equal 
defects; condemnation of a man of opposite defects; condemnation 
of his opponent; failure to acknowledge his good deeds; 
enumeration of his bad deeds; attention to whoever enters into the 
chamber; too much gift; uttering falsehood; change in the conduct 
and attitude of visitors to the king; nay, the courtier shall also note 
the change in the life of animals other than men. 

Kdtydyana holds that this (king) showers his favours 
broad-cast. 

Kaninka Bhdradvdja says that Krauncha (a bird) has moved 
from right to left. 

Dirgha Chdrayana says that this (king) is (like) a grass. 

Ghotamukha says that (he is like) a wet cloth. 

Kinjalka says that (he is like) an elephant pouring over water. 

Pisuna is of opinion that one should declare him to be a 
chariot-horse. 

The son of Pisuna says that mortification ensues when his 
opponent is courted. 

When wealth and honour are discontinued, such a king may 
be abandoned; or by recognising the character of the king as well as 
his own defects, he may rectify himself ; or he may seek the 

356 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



protection of one of the best friends of the king. 

* Living with the king's friend, the courtier has to endeavour 
to remove, through the medium of his own friends, the defects of 
his master, and then come back to his original place, no matter 
whether the king is alive or dead. 

[Thus ends Chapter V "Time-serving" in Book V, "The Conduct of 
Courtiers" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the ninety-fifth 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER VI. CONSOLIDATION OF THE KINGDOM 
AND ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY. 

THE minister shall thus avert the calamities in which the king 
is involved; long before the apprehended death of the king, he 
shall, in concert with his friends and followers allow visitors to the 
king once in a month or two (and avoid their visits on other 
occasions) under the plea that the king is engaged in performing 
such rites as are calculated to avert national calamities, or are 
destructive of enemies, or capable of prolonging life or of 
procuring a son. 

On appropriate occasions, he may show a pseudo-king not 
only to the people, but also to messengers coming from friends or 
enemies; and this (false) king shall make the minister his 
mouth-piece in conversing with them as deserved. And through the 
medium of the gate-keeper and the officer in charge of the harem, 
the minister shall (pretend to) receive the orders of the king. 
Displeasure or mercy to wrong-doers shall be shown only 
indirectly. 



357 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Both the treasury and the army shall be kept under the 
command of two reliable and confidential persons and in a single 
locality, either within the fort or at the boundary of the kingdom. 

Cognates, princes, and other chiefs of the royal family may be 
employed in works such as the capture of a chief who, employed as 
a commander of a fort or the tracts of wilderness, has turned 
inimical along with a strong band of supporters; or they may be 
sent on an expedition full of difficulties, or to visit the family of the 
king's friend. 

Whoever, among the neighbouring kings, seems to threaten 
with an invasion may be invited for some festival, marriage, 
capture of elephants, purchase of horses, or of merchandise, or for 
taking possession of some lands ceded to him, and captured; or 
such an enemy may be kept at bay by an ally till an agreement of 
not condemnable nature is made with him; or he may be made to 
incur the displeasure of wild tribes or of his enemies; or whoever 
among his nearest relatives is kept under guard may be promised a 
portion of his territory and set against him. 

Or with the help of nobles and princes of the king's family, the 
minister may have the heir-apparent installed and show him to the 
public. 

Or having, as pointed out in the chapter concerning the 
awards of punishments, removed the thorns of the kingdom, he 
may conduct the administration. 

Or if a chief among the neighbouring kings seems to give 
trouble, the minister may invite him, saying "come here and I shall 
make thee king," and then put him to death; or he may be kept at 
bay by taking such measures as can ward off dangers. 

Or having gradually placed the burden of administration on 

358 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the shoulders of the heir-apparent, the minister may announce the 
death of the king to the public. 

In case of the king's demise in an enemy's land, the minister, 
having brought about an agreement between the enemy and a 
friend pretending to be an enemy of the dead king, may withdraw 
himself; or having installed in the king's fort any one of the 
neighbouring kings, he may withdraw himself; or having installed 
the heir-apparent, he may set the army against the enemy; and 
when attacked by the enemy, he may take, as detailed elsewhere, 
such measures as can ward off dangers. 

"Thus," says Kautilya, "the minister shall invest himself with 
the powers of sovereignty." 

"Not so," says Bhdradvdja, "the king lying on his death -bed, 
the minister may set up the princes and other chiefs of the royal 
family against one another or against other chiefs. Whoever attacks 
the kingdom may be put to death under the plea of disturbance and 
annoyance to the people; or having secretly punished the chief 
rebels of the royal family and brought them under his control, the 
minister shall himself take possession of the kingdom, for on 
account of the kingdom the father hates his sons, and sons their 
father; why then should the minister who is the sole prop of the 
kingdom (be an exception to it)? There-fore he shall never discard 
what has, of its own accord, fallen into his hands; for it is a general 
talk among the people that a woman making love of her own 
accord will, when discarded, curse the man. 

* "An opportunity will only once offer itself to a man who is 
waiting for it, and will not come a second time when he may be 
desirous of accomplishing his work." 

"But it is," says Kautilya, "unrighteous to do an act which 

359 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



excites popular fury; nor is it an accepted rule. He shall, therefore, 
install in the kingdom such a son of the king as is possessed of 
amiable qualities. In the absence of a prince of good character, he 
may place before himself a wicked prince, or a princess, or the 
pregnant queen, and tell the other ministers:— 'This is your caste 
(kshepa); look to the father of this (boy) as well as to your own 
valour and descent; this (boy) is merely a flag; and yourselves are 
the lords; pray, how shall I act'?" 

As he is saying this, others, taken in confidence before, shall 
say in reply:— "Who else than the one of your lead is capable of 
protecting the mass of the people of the four castes of the king" ? 
Then the other ministers will certainly agree to it. Accordingly he 
shall install a prince, a princess, or the pregnant queen, and show 
him or her to all the royal relations as well as to the messengers 
coming from friends or enemies. He shall provide the ministers and 
military officers with increased subsistence and salary, promising 
them that "This (boy) will, after attaining full age, increase your 
emolument still more." He shall likewise promise the chief officers 
in charge of the forts and country parts as well as the parties of both 
the friends and enemies. He shall then take necessary steps to 
educate and train the prince. 

Or he may install a child begotten on the princess by a man 
of the same caste. 

He shall keep as a representative of the prince one who is of 
the same family, of little valour and of beautiful appearance, lest 
the mother's mind may be agitated with wild apprehensions. He 
shall justly protect her. He shall not provide himself with luxurious 
means of enjoyment. As to the king, he may provide him with new 
chariots, horses, jewels, dress, women and palaces. 

* When the prince comes of age, he may request the prince to 

360 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



relieve him from the intellectual worry. He may abandon the king, 
if he (the king) is displeased; and follow him if he is pleased. 

* If he is disgusted with the ministerial life, he may go to a forest or 
a long sacrifice, after having informed the queen of the safeguards 
and persons that are employed to bring up the prince. 

* Even if the king is held by the chiefs under their influence, the 
minister may, through the medium of the king's favourites, teach 
him the principles of polity with illustrations, taken from the 
Itihdsa and Purdna. 

* Having taken the garb of an accomplished ascetic, the minister 
may ingratiate himself with the king; and having brought the king 
under his influence, he may take coercive measure against the 
seditious. 

[Thus ends Chapter VI "Consolidation of the Kingdom and 
Absolute Sovereignty" in Book V, "The Conduct of Courtiers" of 
the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the ninety-sixth chapter from 
the beginning. With this, ends the fifth Book "The Conduct of 
Courtiers" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 297-318. 



361 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book VI: The Source of Sovereign 

States 

CHAPTER I. THE ELEMENTS OF SOVEREIGNTY. 

THE king, the minister, the country, the fort, the treasury, the 
army and the friend are the elements of sovereignty. 

Of these, the best qualities of the king are:— 

Born of a high family, godly, possessed of valour, seeing 
through the medium of aged persons, virtuous, truthful, not of a 
contradictory nature, grateful, having large aims, highly 
enthusiastic, not addicted to procrastination, powerful to control 
his neighbouring kings, of resolute mind, having an assembly of 
ministers of no mean quality, and possessed of a taste for 
discipline;— these are the qualities of an inviting nature. 

Inquiry, hearing, perception, retention in memory, reflection, 
deliberation, inference and steadfast adherence to conclusions are 
the qualities of the intellect. 

Valour, determination of purpose, quickness, and probity are 
the aspects of enthusiasm. 

Possessed of a sharp intellect, strong memory, and keen 
mind, energetic, powerful, trained in all kinds of arts, free from 
vice, capable of paying in the same coin by way of awarding 
punishments or rewards, possessed of dignity, capable of taking 
remedial measures against dangers, possessed of foresight, ready 
to avail himself of opportunities when afforded in respect of place, 

362 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



time, and manly efforts, clever enough to discern the causes 
necessitating the cessation of treaty or war with an enemy, or to lie 
in wait keeping treaties, obligations and pledges, or to avail himself 
of his enemy's weak points, making jokes with no loss of dignity or 
secrecy, never brow-beating and casting haughty and stern looks, 
free from passion, anger, greed, obstinacy, fickleness, haste and 
back-biting habits, talking to others with a smiling face, and 
observing customs as taught by aged persons;— such is the nature of 
self-possession. 

The qualifications of a minister have been described in the 
beginning, middle, and at the close of the work. 

Possessed of capital cities both in the centre and the 
extremities of the kingdom, productive of subsistence not only to 
its own people, but also to outsiders on occasions of calamities, 
repulsive to enemies, powerful enough to put down neighbouring 
kings, free from miry, rocky, uneven, and desert tracts as well as 
from conspirators, tigers, wild beasts, and large tracts of 
wilderness, beautiful to look at, containing fertile lands, mines, 
timber and elephant forests, and pasture grounds, artistic, 
containing hidden passages, full of cattle, not depending upon rain 
for water, possessed of land and waterways, rich in various kinds 
of commercial articles, capable of bearing the burden of a vast 
army and heavy taxation, inhabited by agriculturists of good and 
active character, full of intelligent masters and servants, and with a 
population noted for its loyalty and good character;— these are the 
qualities of a good country. 

The excellent qualities of forts have already been described. 

Justly obtained either by inheritance or by self-acquisition, 
rich in gold and silver, filled with an abundance of big gems of 



363 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



various colours and of gold coins, and capable to withstand 
calamities of long duration is the best treasury. 

Coming down directly, from father and grandfather (of the 
king), ever strong, obedient, happy in keeping their sons and wives 
well contented, not averse to making a long sojourn, ever and 
everywhere invincible, endowed with the power of endurance, 
trained in fighting various kinds of battles, skillful in handling 
various forms of weapons, ready to share in the weal or woe of the 
king, and consequently not falling foul with him, and purely 
composed of soldiers of Kshatriya caste, is the best army. 

Coming down directly from father and grandfather, 
long-standing, open to conviction, never falling foul, and capable 
of making preparations for war quickly and on a large scale, is the 
best friend. 

Not born of a royal family, greedy, possessed of a mean 
assembly of ministers, with disloyal subjects, ever doing 
unrighteous acts, of loose character, addicted to mean pleasures, 
devoid of enthusiasm, trusting to fate, indiscreet in action, 
powerless, helpless, impotent, and ever injurious, is the worst 
enemy. Such an enemy is easily uprooted. 

* Excepting the enemy, these seven elements, possessed of 
their excellent characteristics are said to be the limb-like elements 
of sovereignty. 

* A wise king can make even the poor and miserable elements 
of his sovereignty happy and prosperous; but a wicked king will 
surely destroy the most prosperous and loyal elements of his 
kingdom. 



364 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* Hence a king of unrighteous character and of vicious habits 
will, though he is an emperor, fall a prey either to the fury of his 
own subjects or to that of his enemies. 

* But a wise king, trained in politics, will, though he 
possesses a small territory, conquer the whole earth with the help 
of the best-fitted elements of his sovereignty, and will never be 
defeated. 

[Thus, ends Chapter I "The Elements of Sovereignty" in Book VI, 
"The Source of Sovereign States" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. 
End of the ninety- seventh chapter from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER II. CONCERNING PEACE AND EXERTION. 

ACQUISITION and security (of property) are dependent 
upon peace and industry. 

Efforts to achieve the results of works undertaken is industry 

(vydydma). 

Absence of disturbance to the enjoyment of the results 
achieved from works is peace. 

The application of the six-fold royal policy is the source of 
peace and industry. 

Deterioration, stagnation, and progress are the three aspects 
of position. 

Those causes of human make which affect position are policy 
and impolicy (nay a and apanaya); fortune and misfortune (ay a and 
anaya) are providential causes. Causes, both human and 
providential, govern the world and its affairs. 

365 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



What is unforeseen is providential; here, the attainment of 
that desired end which seemed almost lost is (termed) fortune. 

What is anticipated is human; and the attainment of a desired 
end as anticipated is (due to policy). 

What produces unfavourable results is impolicy. This can be 
foreseen; but misfortune due to providence cannot be known. 

The king who, being possessed of good character and 
best-fitted elements of sovereignty, is the fountain of policy, is 
termed the conqueror. 

The king who is situated anywhere immediately on the 
circumference of the conqueror's territory is termed the enemy. 

The king who is likewise situated close to the enemy, but 
separated from the conqueror only by the enemy, is termed the 
friend (of the conqueror). 

A neighbouring foe of considerable power is styled an 
enemy; and when he is involved in calamities or has taken himself 
to evil ways, he becomes assailable; and when he has little or no 
help, he becomes destructible; otherwise (i.e., when he is provided 
with some help), he deserves to be harassed or reduced. Such are 
the aspects of an enemy. 

In front of the conqueror and close to his enemy, there happen 
to be situated kings such as the conqueror's friend, next to him, the 
enemy's friend, and next to the last, the conqueror's friend's friend, 
and next, the enemy's friend's friend. 

In the rear of the conqueror, there happen to be situated a 
rearward enemy ( pdrshnigrdha), a rearward friend (dkranda), an 

366 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



ally of the rearward enemy (pdrshnigrdhdsdrd), and an ally of the 
rearward friend (dkranddsdra). 

That foe who is equally of high birth and occupies a territory 
close to that of the conqueror is a natural enemy; while he who is 
merely antagonistic and creates enemies to the conqueror is a 
factitious enemy. 

He whose friendship is derived from father and grandfather, 
and who is situated close to the territory of the immediate enemy of 
the conqueror is a natural friend; while he whose friendship is 
courted for self-maintenance is an acquired friend. 

The king who occupies a territory close to both the conqueror 
and his immediate enemy in front and who is capable of helping 
both the kings, whether united or disunited, or of resisting either of 
them individually is termed a Madhyama (mediatory) king. 

He who is situated beyond the territory of any of the above 
kings and who is very powerful and capable of helping the enemy, 
the conqueror, and the Madhyama king together or individually, or 
of resisting any of them individually, is a neutral king 
(uddsina),— these are the (twelve) primary kings. 

The conqueror, his friend, and his friend's friend are the three 
primary kings constituting a circle of states. As each of these three 
kings possesses the five elements of sovereignty, such as the 
minister, the country, the fort, the treasury, and the army, a circle of 
states consists of eighteen elements. Thus, it needs no commentary 
to understand that the (three) Circles of States having the enemy 
(of the conqueror), the Madhyama king, or the neutral king at the 
centre of each of the three circles, are different from that of the 
conqueror. Thus there are four primary Circles of States, twelve 



367 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



kings, sixty elements of sovereignty, and seventy-two elements of 
states. 

Each of the twelve primary kings shall have their elements of 
sovereignty, power, and end. Strength is power, and happiness is 
the end. 

Strength is of three kinds: power of deliberation is intellectual 
strength; the possession of a prosperous treasury and a strong army 
is the strength of sovereignty; and martial power is physical 
strength. 

The end is also of three kinds: that which is attainable by 
deliberation is the end of deliberation; that which is attainable by 
the strength of sovereignty is the end of sovereignty; and that 
which is to be secured by perseverance is the end of martial power. 

The possession of power and happiness in a greater degree 
makes a king superior to another; in a less degree, inferior; and in 
an equal degree, equal. Hence a king shall always endeavor to 
augment his own power and elevate his happiness. 

A king who is equal to his enemy in the matter of his 
sovereign elements shall, in virtue of his own righteous conduct or 
with the help of those who are hostile or conspiring against his 
enemy, endeavor to throw his enemy's power into the shade; or if 
he thinks:— 

"That my enemy, possessed as he is of immense power, will 
yet in the near future, hurt the elements of his own sovereignty, by 
using contumelious language, by inflicting severe punishments, 
and by squandering his wealth; that though attaining success for a 
time yet he will blindly take himself to hunting, gambling, drinking 
and women; that as his subjects are disaffected, himself powerless 

368 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



and haughty, I can overthrow him; that when attacked, he will take 
shelter with all his paraphernalia into a fort or elsewhere; that 
possessed as he is of a strong army, he will yet fall into my hands, 
as he has neither a friend nor a fort to help him; that a distant king is 
desirous to put down his own enemy, and also inclined to help me 
to put down my own assailable enemy when my resources are 
poor; or that I may be invited as a Madhyama king,"— for these 
reasons the conqueror may allow his enemy to grow in strength and 
to attain success for the time being. 

* Throwing the circumference of the Circle of States beyond 
his friend's territory, and making the kings of those states as the 
spokes of that circle, the conqueror shall make himself as the nave 
of that circle. 

* A reducible or a conquerable enemy will, when placed 
between a conqueror and the conqueror's friend, appear to be 
growing in strength. 

[Thus ends Chapter II "Peace and Exertion " in Book VI, "The 
Source of Sovereign States" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 
the ninety-eighth chapter from the beginning. With this ends the 
seventh Book "The Source of Sovereign States" of the Arthasdstra 
of Kautilya.] 



369 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book VII, "The End of the Six-Fold 

Policy" 



CHAPTER I. THE SIX-FOLD POLICY, AND 
DETERMINATION OF DETERIORATION, STAGNATION 
AND PROGRESS. 

THE Circle of States is the source of the six-fold policy. 

My teacher says that peace (sandhi), war (vigraha) 
observance of neutrality (dsana), marching (ydna), alliance 
(samsraya), and making peace with one and waging war with 
another are the six forms of state -policy. 

But Vdtavyddhi holds that there are only two forms of policy, 
peace and war, inasmuch as the six forms result from these two 
primary forms of policy. 

While Kautilya holds that as their respective conditions 
differ, the forms of policy are six. 

Of these, agreement with pledges is peace; offensive 
operation is war; indifference is neutrality; making preparations is 
marching; seeking the protection of another is alliance; and making 
peace with one and waging war with another, is termed a double 
policy (dvaidhibhdva). These are the six forms. 

Whoever is inferior to another shall make peace with him; 
whoever is superior in power shall wage war; whoever thinks "no 
enemy can hurt me, nor am I strong enough to destroy my enemy," 
shall observe neutrality; whoever is possessed of necessary means 

370 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



shall march against his enemy; whoever is devoid of necessary 
strength to defend himself shall seek the protection of another; 
whoever thinks that help is necessary to work out an end shall 
make peace with one and wage war with another. Such is the aspect 
of the six forms of policy. 

Of these, a wise king shall observe that form of policy which, 
in his opinion, enables him to build forts, to construct buildings and 
commercial roads, to open new plantations and villages, to exploit 
mines and timber and elephant forests, and at the same time to 
harass similar works of his enemy. 

Whoever thinks himself to be growing in power more rapidly 
both in quality and quantity (than his enemy), and the reverse of his 
enemy, may neglect his enemy's progress for the time. 

If any two kings hostile to each other find the time of 
achieving the results of their respective works to be equal, they 
shall make peace with each other. 

No king shall keep that form of policy, which causes him the 
loss of profit from his own works, but which entails no such loss on 
the enemy; for it is deterioration. 

Whoever thinks that in the course of time his loss will be less 
than his acquisition as contrasted with that of his enemy, may 
neglect his temporary deterioration. 

If any two kings hostile to each other and deteriorating, 
expect to acquire equal amount of wealth in equal time, they shall 
make peace with each other. 

That position in which neither progress nor retrogression is 
seen is stagnation. 



371 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whoever thinks his stagnancy to be of a shorter duration and 
his prosperity in the long run to be greater than his enemy's may 
neglect his temporary stagnation. 

My teacher says that if any two kings, who are hostile to each 
other and are in a stationary condition expect to acquire equal 
amount of wealth and power in equal time, they shall make peace 
with each other. 

"Of course," says Kautilya, "there is no other alternative." 

Or if a king thinks:— 

"That keeping the agreement of peace, I can undertake 
productive works of considerable importance and destroy at the 
same time those of my enemy; or apart from enjoying the results of 
my own works, I shall also enjoy those of my enemy in virtue of 
the agreement of peace; or I can destroy the works of my enemy by 
employing spies and other secret means; or by holding out such 
inducements as a happy dwelling, rewards, remission of taxes, 
little work and large profits and wages, I can empty my enemy's 
country of its population, with which he has been able to carry his 
own works; or being allied with a king of considerable power, my 
enemy will have his own works destroyed; or I can prolong my 
enemy's hostility with another king whose threats have driven my 
enemy to seek my protection; or being allied with me, my enemy 
can harass the country of another king who hates me; or oppressed 
by another king, the subjects of my enemy will immigrate into my 
country, and I can, therefore, achieve the results of my own works 
very easily; or being in a precarious condition due to the 
destruction of his works, my enemy will not be so powerful as to 
attack me; or by exploiting my own resources in alliance with any 
two (friendly) kings, I can augment my resources; or if a Circle of 
States is formed by my enemy as one of its members, I can divide 

372 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



them and combine with the others; or by threats or favour, I can 
catch hold of my enemy, and when he desires to be a member of 
my own Circle of States, I can make him incur the displeasure of 
the other members, and fall a victim to their own fury,"— if a king 
thinks thus, then he may increase his resources by keeping peace. 
Or if a king thinks:— 

"That as my country is full of born soldiers and of 
corporations of fighting men, and as it possesses such natural 
defensive positions as mountains, forests, rivers, and forts with 
only one entrance, it can easily repel the attack of my enemy; or 
having taken my stand in my impregnable fortress at the border of 
my country, I can harass the works of my enemy; or owing to 
internal troubles and loss of energy, my enemy will early suffer 
from the destruction of his works; or when my enemy is attacked 
by another king, I can induce his subjects to immigrate into my 
country," then he may augment his own resources by keeping open 
hostility with such an enemy. 

Or if a king thinks:— 

"That neither is my enemy strong enough to destroy my 
works, nor am I his; or if he comes to fight with me, like a dog with 
a boar, I can increase his afflictions without incurring any loss in 
my own works," then he may observe neutrality and augment his 
own resources. 

Or if a king thinks:— 

"That by marching my troops it is possible to destroy the 
works of my enemy; and as for myself, I have made proper 
arrangements to safeguard my own works," then he may increase 
his resources by marching. 



373 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Or if a king thinks:— 

"That I am strong enough neither to harass my enemy's works 
nor to defend my own against my enemy's attack," then he shall 
seek protection from a king of superior power and endeavour to 
pass from the stage of deterioration to that of stagnancy and from 
the latter to that of progress. 

Or if a king thinks:— 

"That by making peace with one, I can work out my own 
resources, and by waging war with another, I can destroy the works 
of my enemy," then he may adopt that double policy and improve 
his resources. 

* Thus, a king in the circle of sovereign state shall, by 
adopting the six-fold policy, endeavour to pass from the state of 
deterioration to that of stagnation and from the latter to that of 
progress. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "The Six-fold Policy and Determination of 
Deterioration, Stagnation and Progress" in Book VII, "The end of 
the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
ninety-ninth chapter from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER II. THE NATURE OF ALLIANCE. 

WHEN the advantages derivable from peace and war are of 
equal character, one should prefer peace; for disadvantages, such 
as the loss of power and wealth, sojourning, and sin, are 
ever- attending upon war. 

The same holds good in the case of neutrality and war. Of the 
two (forms of policy), double policy and alliance, double policy 

374 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(i.e., making peace with one and waging war with another) is 
preferable; for whoever adopts the double policy enriches himself, 
being ever attentive to his own works, whereas an allied king has to 
help his ally at his own expense. 

One shall make an alliance with a king who is stronger than 
one's neighbouring enemy; in the absence of such a king, one 
should ingratiate oneself with one's neighbouring enemy, either by 
supplying money or army or by ceding a part of one's territory and 
by keeping oneself aloof; for there can be no greater evil to kings 
than alliance with a king of considerable power, unless one is 
actually attacked by one's enemy. 

A powerless king should behave as a conquered king 
(towards his immediate enemy); but when he finds that the time of 
his own ascendancy is at hand due to a fatal disease, internal 
troubles, increase of enemies, or a friend's calamities that are 
vexing his enemy, then under the pretence of performing some 
expiatory rites to avert the danger of his enemy, he may get out (of 
the enemy's court); or if he is in his own territory, he should not go 
to see his suffering enemy; or if he is near to his enemy, he may 
murder the enemy when opportunity affords itself. 

A king who is situated between two powerful kings shall seek 
protection from the stronger of the two; or from one of them on 
whom he can rely; or he may make peace with both of them on 
equal terms. Then he may begin to set one of them against the other 
by telling each that the other is a tyrant causing utter ruin to 
himself, and thus cause dissension between them. When they are 
divided, he may pat down each separately by secret or covert 
means. Or, throwing himself under the protection of any two 
immediate kings of considerable power, he may defend himself 
against an immediate enemy. Or, having made an alliance with a 
chief in a stronghold, he may adopt double policy (i.e., make peace 

375 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



with one of the two kings, and wage war with another). Or, be may 
adapt himself to circumstances depending upon the causes of peace 
and war in order. Or, he may make friendship with traitors, 
enemies, and wild chiefs who are conspiring against both the kings. 
Or, pretending to be a close friend of one of them, he may strike the 
other at the latter's weak point by employing enemies, and wild 
tribes. Or, having made friendship with both, he may form a Circle 
of States. Or, he may make an alliance with the madhyama or the 
neutral king; and with this help he may put down one of them or 
both. Or when hurt by both, he may seek protection from a king of 
righteous character among the madhyama king, the neutral king, 
and their friends or equals, or from any other king whose subjects 
are so disposed as to increase his happiness and peace, with whose 
help he may be able to recover his lost position, with whom his 
ancestors were in close intimacy, or blood relationship, and in 
whose kingdom he can find a number of powerful friends. 

* Of two powerful kings who are on amicable terms with each 
other, a king shall make alliance with one of them who likes him 
and whom he likes; this is the best way of making alliance. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "The Nature of Alliance" in Book VII, "The 
end of the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 
the hundredth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. THE CHARACTER OF EQUAL, INFERIOR 
AND SUPERIOR KINGS; AND FORMS OF AGREEMENT 
MADE BY AN INFERIOR KING. 

A KING desirous of expanding his own power shall make use 
of the six-fold policy. 

376 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Agreements of peace shall be made with equal and superior 
kings; and an inferior king shall be attacked. 

Whoever goes to wage war with a superior king will be 
reduced to the same condition as that of a foot-soldier opposing an 
elephant. 

Just as the collision of an unbaked mud- vessel with a similar 
vessel is destructive to both, so war with an equal king brings ruin 
to both. 

Like a stone striking an earthen pot, a superior king attains 
decisive victory over an inferior king. 

If a superior king discards the proposal of an inferior king for 
peace, the latter should take the attitude of a conquered king, or 
play the part of an inferior king towards a superior. 

When a king of equal power does not like peace, then the 
same amount of vexation as his opponent has received at his hands 
should be given to him in return; for it is power that brings about 
peace between any two kings: no piece of iron that is not made 
red-hot will combine with another piece of iron. 

When an inferior king is all submissive, peace should be 
made with him; for when provoked by causing him troubles and 
anger, an inferior king, like a wild fire, will attack his enemy and 
will also be favoured by (his) Circle of States. 

When a king in peace with another finds that greedy, 
.impoverished, and oppressed as are the subjects of his ally, they do 
not yet immigrate into his own territory lest they might be called 
back by their master, then he should, though of inferior power, 
proclaim war against his ally. 

377 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When a king at war with another finds that greedy, 
impoverished, and oppressed as are the subjects of his enemy, still 
they do not come to his side in consequence of the troubles of war, 
then he should, though of superior power, make peace with his 
enemy or remove the troubles of war as far as possible. 

When one of the two kings at war with each other and equally 
involved in trouble finds his own troubles to be greater than his 
enemy's, and thinks that by getting rid of his (enemy's) trouble his 
enemy can successful wage war with him, then he should, though 
possessing greater resources, sue for peace. 

When, either in peace or war, a king finds neither loss to his 
enemy nor gain to himself, he should, though superior, observe 
neutrality. 

When a king finds the troubles of his enemy irremediable, he 
should, though of inferior power, march against the enemy. 

When a king finds himself threatened by imminent dangers or 
troubles, he should, though superior, seek the protection of another. 

When a king is sure to achieve his desired ends by making 
peace with one and waging war with another, he should, though 
superior, adopt the double policy. 

Thus it is that the six forms of policy are applied together. 

As to their special application:— 

* When a powerless king finds himself attacked by a powerful 
king, leading a Circle of States, he should submissively sue for 
peace on the condition of offering treasure, army, himself or his 
territory. 

378 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* Agreement made on the condition that with a fixed number of 
troops or with the flower of his army, a king should present himself 
(when called for), is peace termed dtmdmisha, 'offering himself as 
flesh.' 

* Agreement made on the condition that the commander of the 
army together with the heir-apparent should present himself (when 
called for), is peace styled purushdntarasandhi, 'peace with 
hostages other than the king himself; and it is conducive to 
self-preservation, as it does not require the personal attendance of 
the king. 

* Agreement made on the condition that the king himself or some 
one else should march with the army to some place, as required, is 
peace termed adrishtapurusha, 'peace with no specified person to 
serve'; and it is conducive to the safety of the king and the chiefs of 
his army. 

* In the first two forms of the peace, a woman of rank should be 
given as an hostage, and in the last, a secret attempt should be made 
to capture the enemy; these are the forms of peace concluded on the 
condition of supplying his army. 

* When,by offering wealth, the rest of the elements of sovereignty 
are set free, that peace is termed parikraya, 'price.' 

* Similarly, when peace is concluded by offering money capable of 
being taken on a man's shoulders, it is termed upagraha, 'subsidy'; 
and it is of various forms; Owing to distance and owing to its 
having been kept long, the amount of the tribute promised may 
sometimes fall in arrears. 

* Yet as such a burden can tolerably be paid in future, this peace is 
better than the one with a woman given as an hostage. When the 
parties making an agreement of peace are amicably united, it is 
termed suvarnasandhi, 'golden peace.' 

* Quite reverse from the former is the peace called kapdla, 'half of 
a pot,' which is concluded on the condition of paying immense 
quantity of money. 

* In the first two, one should send the supply of raw materials, 



379 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



elephants, horses and troops; in the third, money; and in the fourth, 
one should evade the payment under the plea of loss of results from 
works; these are the forms of peace concluded on the payment of 
money. 

* When by ceding a part of the territory, the rest of the kingdom 
with its subjects are kept safe, it is termed ddishta, 'ceded,' and is 
of advantage to one who is desirous of destroying thieves and other 
wicked persons (infesting the ceded part). 

* When with the exception of the capital, the whole of the territory, 
impoverished by exploitation of its resources is ceded, it is termed 
uchchhinnasandhi, 'peace cut off from profit,' and is of advantage 
to one who desires to involve the enemy in troubles. 

* When by the stipulation of paying the produce of the land, the 
kingdom is set free, it is termed avakraya, 'rent.' That which is 
concluded by the promise of paying more than the land yields is 
paribhushana, 'ornament.' 

* One should prefer the first; but the last two based upon the 
payment of the produce should be made only when one is obliged 
to submit to power. These are the forms of peace made by ceding 
territory. 

* These three kinds of peace are to be concluded by an inferior 
king in submission to the power of a superior king owing to the 
peculiar condition of his own works, circumstances and time. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "The Character of Equal, Inferior, and 
Superior Kings; and Forms of Agreement made by an Inferior 
King" in Book VII, "The end of the Six-fold Policy" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and first chapter from 
the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. NEUTRALITY AFTER PROCLAIMING 
WAR OR AFTER CONCLUDING A TREATY OF PEACE; 



380 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



MARCHING AFTER PROCLAIMING WAR OR AFTER 
MAKING PEACE; AND THE MARCH OF COMBINED 
POWERS. 

NEUTRALITY or marching after proclaiming war or peace 
has been explained. 

Sthdna (keeping quiet), dsana (withdrawal from hostility), 
and upekshana (negligence) are synonymous with the word 
'dsana,' 'neutrality.' As to the difference between three aspects of 
neutrality :— Keeping quiet, maintaining a particular kind of policy 
is sthdna; withdrawal from hostile actions for the sake of one's 
own interests is dsana; and taking no steps (against an enemy) is 
upekshana. 

When two kings, who, though bent on making conquests, are 
desirous of peace, are unable to proceed, one against the other, they 
may keep quiet after proclaiming war or after making peace. 

When a king finds it possible to put down by means of his 
own army, or with the help of a friend, or of wild tribes, another 
king of equal or superior power, then having set up proper defences 
against both internal and external enemies, he may keep quiet after 
proclaiming war. 

When a king is convinced that his own subjects are brave, 
united, prosperous, and able not only to carry on their own works 
without interference, but also to harass his enemy's works, then he 
may keep quiet after proclaiming war. 

When a king finds that as his enemy's subjects are ill-treated, 
impoverished and greedy and are ever being oppressed by the 
inroads of the army, thieves, and wild tribes, they can be made 
through intrigue to join his side; or that his own agriculture and 

381 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



commerce are flourishing while those of his enemy are waning; or 
that as the subjects of his enemy are suffering from famine, they 
will immigrate into his own territory; or that, though his own 
returns of agriculture and commerce are falling and those of his 
enemy increasing, his own subjects will never desert him in favour 
of his enemy; or that by proclaiming war, he can carry off, by force, 
the grains, cattle and gold of his enemy; or that he can prevent the 
import of his enemy's merchandise, which was destructive of his 
own commerce; or that valuable merchandise would come to his 
own territory, leaving that of his enemy; or that war being 
proclaimed, his enemy would be unable to put down traitors, 
enemies, and wild tribes and other rebels, and would be involved in 
war with them; or that his own friend would in a very short time 
accumulate wealth without much loss and would not fail to follow 
him in his march, since no friend would neglect the opportunity of 
acquiring a fertile land and a prosperous friend like himself,— then 
in view of inflicting injuries on his enemy and of exhibiting his 
own power, he may keep quiet after proclaiming war. 

But my teacher says that turning against such a king, his 
enemy may swallow him. 

'Not so,' says Kautilya, 'impoverishment of the enemy who is 
free from troubles is all that is aimed at (when a king keeps quiet 
after proclaiming war). As soon as such a king acquires sufficient 
strength, he will undertake to destroy the enemy. To such a king, 
the enemy's enemy will send help to secure his own personal 
safety.' Hence, whoever is provided with necessary strength may 
keep quiet after proclaiming war. 

When the policy of keeping quiet after proclaiming war is 
found productive of unfavourable results, then one shall keep quiet 
after making peace. 



382 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Whoever has grown in strength in consequence of keeping 
quiet after proclaiming war should proceed to attack his enemy. 

When a king finds that his enemy has fallen into troubles; that 
the troubles of his enemy's subjects can by no means be remedied; 
that as his enemy's subjects are oppressed, ill-treated, disaffected, 
impoverished, become effiminate and disunited among 
themselves, they can be prevailed upon to desert their master; that 
his enemy's country has fallen a victim to the inroads of such 
calamities, as fire, floods, pestilence epidemics (maraka), and 
famine and is therefore losing the flower of its youth and its 
defensive power,— then he should march after proclaiming war. 

When a king is so fortunate as to have a powerful friend in 
front and a powerful ally (dkranda) in the rear, both with brave and 
loyal subjects, while the reverse is the case with he enemies both in 
front and in the rear, and when he finds it possible for his friend to 
hold his frontal enemy in check, and for his rear-ally to keep his 
rear-enemy (pdrshnigrdha) at bay, then he may march after 
proclaiming war against his frontal enemy. 

When a king finds it possible to achieve the results of victory 
single-handed in a very short time, then he may march (against his 
frontal enemy) after proclaiming war against his rear-enemies; 
otherwise he should march after making peace (with his 
rear-enemies). 

When a king finds himself unable to confront his enemy 
single-handed and when it is necessary that he should march, then 
he should make the expedition in combination with kings of 
inferior, equal, or superior powers. 

When the object aimed at is of a definite nature, then the share 
of spoils should be fixed; but when it is of a manifold or complex 

383 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



nature, then with no fixity in the share of the spoils. When no such 
combination is possible, he may request a king either to supply him 
with the army for a fixed share, or to accompany him for an equal 
share of the spoils. 

When profit is certain, then they should march with fixed 
shares of profit; but when it is uncertain, with no fixity of shares. 

* Share of profit proportional to the strength of the army is of 
the first kind; that which is equal to the effort made is the best; 
shares may be allotted in proportion to the profit earned or to the 
capital invested. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "Neutrality after Proclaiming War or after 
Concluding a Treaty of Peace; Marching after Proclaiming War or 
after Making Peace; and the March of Combined Powers," in Book 
VII, "The end of the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and second chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT MARCHING 
AGAINST AN ASSAILABLE ENEMY AND A STRONG 
ENEMY; CAUSES LEADING TO THE DWINDLING, 
GREED, AND DISLOYALTY OF THE ARMY; AND 
CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE COMBINATION OF 
POWERS. 

WHEN two enemies, one an assailable enemy and another a 
strong enemy, are equally involved in troubles, which of them is to 
be marched against first? 

The strong enemy is to be marched against first; after 
vanquishing him, the assailable enemy is to be attacked, for, when 

384 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



a strong enemy has been vanquished, an assailable enemy will 
volunteer of his own accord to help the conqueror; but not so, a 
strong enemy. 

Which is to be marched against— an assailable enemy 
involved in troubles to a greater degree or a strong enemy troubled 
to a lesser degree? 

My teacher says that as a matter of easy conquest, the 
assailable enemy under worse troubles should be marched against 
first. 

Not so, says Kautilya: The conqueror should march against 
the strong enemy under less troubles, for the troubles of the strong 
enemy, though less, will be augmented when attacked. True, that 
the worse troubles of the assailable enemy will be still worse when 
attacked. But when left to himself, the strong enemy under less 
troubles will endeavour to get rid of his troubles and unite with the 
assailable enemy or with another enemy in the rear of the 
conqueror. 

When there are two assailable enemies, one of virtuous 
character and under worse troubles, and another of vicious 
character, under less troubles, and with disloyal subjects, which of 
them is to be marched against first? 

When the enemy of virtuous character and under worse 
troubles is attacked, his subjects will help him; whereas, the 
subjects of the other of vicious character and under less troubles 
will be indifferent. Disloyal or indifferent subjects will endeavour 
to destroy even a strong king. Hence the conqueror should march 
against that enemy whose subjects are disloyal. 

Which is to be marched against— an enemy whose subjects are 

385 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



impoverished and greedy or an enemy whose subjects are being 
oppressed? 

My teacher says that the conqueror should march against that 
enemy whose subjects are impoverished and greedy, for 
impoverished and greedy subjects suffer themselves to be won 
over to the other side by intrigue, and are easily excited. But not so 
the oppressed subjects whose wrath can be pacified by punishing 
the chief men (of the State). 

Not so, says Kautilya: for though impoverished and greedy, 
they are loyal to their master and are ready to stand for his cause 
and to defeat any intrigue against him; for it is in loyalty that all 
other good qualities have their strength. Hence the conqueror 
should march against the enemy whose subjects are oppressed. 

Which enemy is to be marched against— a powerful enemy of 
wicked character or a powerless enemy of righteous character? 

The strong enemy of wicked character should be marched 
against, for when he is attacked, his subjects will not help him, but 
rather put him down or go to the side of the conqueror. But when 
the enemy of virtuous character is attacked, his subjects will help 
him or die with him. 

* By insulting the good and commending the wicked; by causing 
unnatural and unrighteous slaughter of life; 

* by neglecting the observance of proper and righteous customs; by 
doing unrighteous acts and neglecting righteous ones; 

* by doing what ought not to be done and not doing what ought to 
be done; by not paying what ought to be paid and exacting what 
ought not to be taken; 

* by not punishing the guilty and severely punishing the less guilty; 
by arresting those who are not to be caught hold of and leaving 

386 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



those who are to be arrested; 

* by undertaking risky works and destroying profitable ones; by 
not protecting the people against thieves and by robbing them of 
their wealth; 

* by giving up manly enterprise and condemning good works; by 
hurting the leaders of the people and despising the worthy; 

* by provoking the aged, by crooked conduct, and by 
untruthfulness; by not applying remedies against evils and 
neglecting works in hand; 

* and by carelessness and negligence of himself in maintaining the 
security of person and property of his subjects, the king causes 
impoverishment, greed, and disaffection to appear among his 
subjects; 

* when a people are impoverished, they become greedy; when they 
are greedy, they become disaffected; when disaffected, they 
voluntarily go to the side of the enemy or destroy their own master. 

Hence, no king should give room to such causes as would 
bring about impoverishment, greed or disaffection among his 
people. If, however, they appear, he should at once take remedial 
measures against them. 

Which (of the three) is the worst— an impoverished people? 
greedy people? or disaffected people? 

An impoverished people are ever apprehensive of oppression 
and destruction (by over-taxation, etc.), and are therefore desirous 
of getting rid of their impoverishment, or of waging war or of 
migrating elsewhere. 

A greedy people are ever discontented and they yield 
themselves to the intrigues of an enemy. 

A disaffected people rise against their master along with his 

387 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



enemy. 

When the dwindling of the people is due to want of gold and 
grain, it is a calamity fraught with danger to the whole of the 
kingdom and can be remedied with difficulty. The dearth of 
efficient men can be made up by means of gold and grain. Greed 
(is) partial and is found among a few chief officers, and it can be 
got rid of or satisfied by allowing them to plunder an enemy's 
wealth. Disaffection or disloyalty (virdga) can be got rid of by 
putting down the leaders; for in the absence of a leader or leaders, 
the people are easily governed (bhogya) and they will not take part 
in the intrigues of enemies. When a people are too nervous to 
endure the calamities, they first become dispersed, when their 
leaders are put down; and when they are kept under restraint, they 
endure calamities. 

Having well considered the causes which bring about peace 
or war, one should combine with kings of considerable power and 
righteous character and march against one's enemy. 

'A king of considerable power,' means one who is strong 
enough to put down or capture an enemy in the rear of his friend or 
to give sufficient help to his friend in his march. 

'A king of righteous character,' means one who does what 
one has promised to do, irrespective of good or bad results. 

Having combined with one of superior power, or with two of 
equal power among such kings, should the conqueror march 
against his enemy? 

It is better to march combined with two kings of equal power; 
for, if combined with a king of superior power, the ally appears to 
move, caught hold of, by his superior, whereas in marching with 
two kings of equal power, the same will be the result, only, when 

388 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



those two kings are experts in the art of intrigue; besides it is easy 
to separate them; and when one of them is wicked, he can be put 
down by the other two and made to suffer the consequence of 
dissension. 

Combined with one of equal power or with two of lesser 
power, should a king march against his enemy? 

Better to march with two kings of lesser power; for the 
conqueror can depute them to carry out any two different works 
and keep them under his control. When the desired end is achieved, 
the inferior king will quietly retire after the satisfaction of his 
superior. 

* Till his discharge, the good conduct of an ally of usually bad 
character should be closely scrutinised either by suddenly coming 
out at a critical time from a covert position (sattra) to examine his 
conduct, or by having his wife as a pledge for his good conduct. 

* Though actuated with feelings of true friendship, the conqueror 
has reason to fear his ally, though of equal power, when the latter 
attains success in his mission; having succeeded in his mission, an 
ally of equal power is likely to change his attitude even towards the 
conqueror of superior power. 

* An ally of superior power should not be relied upon, for 
prosperity changes the mind. Even with little or no share in the 
spoils, an ally of superior power may go back, appearing 
contented; but some time afterwards, he may not fail to sit on the 
lap of the conqueror and carry off twice the amount of share due to 
him. 

* Having been satisfied with mere victory, the leading conqueror 
should discharge his allies, having satisfied them with their shares 
he may allow himself to be conquered by them instead of 
attempting to conquer them (in the matter of spoils); it is thus that a 
king can win the good graces of his Circle of States. 

389 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



[Thus ends Chapter V, "Considerations about Marching against an 
Assailable Enemy and a Strong Enemy; Causes Leading to the 
Dwindling, Greed, and Disloyalty of the Army; and Considerations 
about the Combination of Powers" in Book VII, "The end of the 
Sixfold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred 
and third chapter from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER VI. THE MARCH OF COMBINED POWERS; 
AGREEMENT OF PEACE WITH OR WITHOUT 
DEFINITE TERMS; AND PEACE WITH RENEGADES. 

THE Conqueror should thus over-reach the second element, 
(the enemy close to his territory):— He should engage his 
neighbouring enemy to undertake a simultaneous march with him 
and tell the enemy: "Thou, march in that direction, and I shall 
march in this direction; and the share in the spoils is equal." 

If the booty is to be equally divided, it is an agreement of 
peace; if otherwise, it is overpowering the enemy. 

An agreement of peace may be made with promise to carry 
out a definite work (paripanita) or with no such promise 
(aparipanita). 

When the agreement is to the effect that "Thou, march to that 
place, and I shall march to this place," it is termed an agreement of 
peace to carry out a work in definite locality. 

When it is agreed upon that "Thou, be engaged so long, I shall 
be engaged thus long," it is an agreement to attain an object in a 
fixed time. 

When it is agreed upon that "Thou, try to accomplish that 

390 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



work, and I shall try to finish this work," it is an agreement to 
achieve a definite end. 

When the conqueror thinks that "my enemy (now an ally) has 
to march through an unknown country, which is intersected with 
mountains, forests, rivers, forts and deserts which is devoid of 
food-stuffs, people, pastoral grounds, fodder, firewood and water, 
and which is far away, different from other countries, and not 
affording suitable grounds for the exercise of his army; and I have 
to traverse a country of quite the reverse description," then he 
should make an agreement to carry out a work in a definite locality. 

When the conqueror thinks that "my enemy has to work with 
food stuffs falling short and with no comfort during the rainy, hot 
or cold season, giving rise to various kinds of diseases and 
obstructing the free exercise of his army during a shorter or longer 
period of time than necessary for the accomplishment of the work 
in hand; and I have to work during a time of quite the reverse 
nature," then he should make time a factor of the agreement. 

When the conqueror thinks that "my enemy has to accomplish 
a work which, not lasting but trifling in its nature, enrages his 
subjects, which requires much expenditure of time and money, and 
which is productive of evil consequences, unrighteous, repugnant 
to the Madhyama and neutral kings, and destructive of all 
friendship; whereas, I have to do the reverse," then he should make 
an agreement to carry out a definite work. 

Likewise with space and time, with time and work, with space 
and work, and with space, time, and work, made as terms of an 
agreement, it resolves itself into seven forms. 

Long before making such an agreement, the conqueror has to 
fix his own work and then attempt to overreach his enemy. 



391 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When, in order to destroy an enemy who has fallen into 
troubles and who is hasty, indolent, and not foresighted, an 
agreement of peace with no terms of time, space, or work is made 
with an enemy merely for mutual peace, and when under cover of 
such an agreement, the enemy is caught hold of at his weak points 
and is struck, it is termed peace with no definite terms 
(aparipanita). With regard to this there is a saying as follows:- 

"Having kept a neighbouring enemy engaged with another 
neighbouring enemy, a wise king should proceed against a third 
king, and having conquered that enemy of equal power, take 
possession of his territory." 

Peace with no specific end (akritachikirshd), peace with 
binding terms (kritasleshana), the breaking of peace 
(kritavidushana), and restoration of peace broken (apasirnakriyd) 
are other forms of peace. 

Open battle, treacherous battle, and silent battle {i.e. killing an 
enemy by employing spies when there is no talk of battle at all), are 
the three forms of battle. 

When, by making use of conciliation and other forms of 
stratagem and the like, a new agreement of peace is made and the 
rights of equal, inferior, and superior powers concerned in the 
agreement are defined according to their respective positions, it is 
termed an agreement of peace with no specific end (other than 
self-preservation) . 

When, by the employment of friends (at the Courts of each 
other), the agreement of peace made is kept secure and the terms 
are invariably observed and strictly maintained so that no 
dissension may creep among the parties, it is termed peace with 
binding terms. 

392 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When, having proved through the agency of traitors and spies 
the treachery of a king, who has made an agreement of peace, the 
agreement is broken, it is termed the breaking of peace. 

When reconciliation is made with a servant, or a friend, or any 
other renegade, it is termed the restoration of broken peace. 

There are four persons who run away from, and return to, 
their master : one who had reason to run away and to return; one 
who had no reason either to run away or to return; one who had 
reason to run away, but none to return; and one who had no reason 
to run away, but had reason to come back. 

He who runs away owing to his master's fault and returns in 
consideration of (his master's) good nature, or he who runs away 
attracted by the good nature of his master's enemy and returns 
finding fault with the enemy is to be reconciled as he had reason to 
run away and to return. 

Whoever runs away owing to his own fault and returns 
without minding the good nature either of his old or new master is a 
fickle-minded person having no explanation to account for his 
conduct, and he should have no terms of reconciliation. 

Whoever runs away owing to his master's fault and returns 
owing to his own defects, is a renegade who had reason to run 
away, but none to return: and his case is to be well considered 
(before he is taken back). 

Whoever returns deputed by the enemy; or of his own accord, 
with the intention of hurting his old master, as is natural to persons 
of such bad character; or coming to know that his old master is 
attempting to put down the enemy, his new master, and 
apprehensive of danger to himself; or looking on the attempt of his 
new master to destroy his old master as cruelty, these should be 

393 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



examined; and if he is found to be actuated with good motives, he 
is to be taken back respectfully; otherwise, he should be kept at a 
distance. 

Whoever runs away owing to his own fault and returns owing 
to his new master's wickedness is a renegade who had no reason to 
run away, but had reason to come back; such a person is to be 
examined. 

When a king thinks that "This renegade supplies me with full 
information about my enemy's weakness, and, therefore, he 
deserves to remain here; his own people with me are in friendship 
with my friends and at enmity with my enemies and are easily 
excited at the sight of greedy and cruel persons or of a band of 
enemies," he may treat such a renegade as deserved. 

My teacher says that whoever has failed to achieve profit 
from his works, lost his strength, or made his learning a 
commercial article, or is very greedy, inquisitive to see different 
countries, dead to the feelings of friendship, or has strong enemies, 
deserves to be abandoned. 

But Kautilya says that it is timidity, unprofessional business, 
and lack of forbearance (to do so). Whoever is injurious to the 
king's interests should be abandoned, while he who is injurious to 
the interests of the enemy should be reconciled; and whoever is 
injurious to the interests of both the king and his enemy should be 
carefully examined. 

When it is necessary to make peace with a king with whom no 
peace ought to be made, defensive measures should be taken 
against that point where he can show his power. 
* In restoring broken peace, a renegade or a person inclined 
towards the enemy should be kept at such a distance that till the 

394 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



close of his life, he may be useful to the State. 

* Or, he may be set against the enemy or may be employed as a 
captain of an army to guard wild tracts against enemies, or thrown 
somewhere on the boundary. 

* Or, he may be employed to carry on a secret trade in new or old 
commodities in foreign countries and may accordingly be accused 
of conspiracy with the enemy. 

* Or, in the interests of future peace, a renegade who must be put to 
death may at once be destroyed. 

* That kind of wicked character which has from the beginning 
grown upon a man owing to his association with enemies is as ever 
fraught with danger as constant living in company with a snake; 

* and is ever threatening with destruction just as a pigeon living on 
the seeds of plaksha (holy fig-tree) is to the salmali (silk-cotton) 
tree. 

* Whenbattle is fought in daylight and in some locality, it is termed 
an open battle; threatening in one direction, assault in another, 
destruction of an enemy captured while he was careless or in 
troubles; 

* and bribing a portion of the army and destroying another portion, 
are forms of treacherous fight; and attempt to win over the chief 
officers of the enemy by intrigue, is the characteristic of silent 
battle. 

[Thus ends Chapter VI, "The March of Combined Powers; 
Agreement of Peace with or without Definite Terms; and Peace 
with Renegades," in Book VII, "The end of the Sixfold Policy" of 
the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and fourth chapter 
from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER VII. PEACE AND WAR BY ADOPTING THE 

395 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



DOUBLE POLICY. 

THE conqueror may overpower the second member (i.e., the 
immediate enemy) thus:— 

Having combined with a neighbouring king, the conqueror 
may march against another neighbouring king. Or if he thinks that 
"(my enemy) will neither capture my rear nor make an alliance 
with my assailable enemy against whom I am going to march; (for 
otherwise) I shall have to fight against great odds; (my ally) will 
not only facilitate the collection of my revenue and supplies and 
put down the internal enemies who are causing me immense 
trouble, but also punish wild tribes and their followers entrenched 
in their strongholds, reduce my assailable enemy to a precarious 
condition or compel him to accept the proffered peace, and having 
received as much profit as he desires, he will endeavour to endear 
my other enemies to me," then the conqueror may proclaim war 
against one and make peace with another and endeavour to get an 
army for money or money for the supply of an army from among 
his neighbouring kings. 

When the kings of superior, equal or inferior power make 
peace with the conqueror and agree to pay a greater, or equal, or 
less amount of profit in proportion to the army supplied, it is 
termed even peace; that which is of the reverse character is styled 
uneven peace; and when the profit is proportionally very high, it is 
termed deception (atisandhi). 

When a king of superior power is involved in troubles, or is 
come to grief or is afflicted with misfortune, his enemy, though of 
inferior power, may request of him the help of his army in return 
for a share in the profit proportional to the strength of the army 
supplied. If the king to whom peace is offered on such terms is 
powerful enough to retaliate, he may declare war; and otherwise he 

396 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



may accept the terms. 

In view of marching for the purpose of exacting some 
expected revenue to be utilised in recouping his own strength and 
resources, an inferior king may request of a superior the help of the 
latter's army for the purpose of guarding the base and the rear of his 
territory in return for the payment of a greater share in the profit 
than the strength of the arm supplied deserves. The king to whom 
such a proposal is made may accept the proposal, if the proposer is 
of good intentions; but otherwise he may declare war. 

When a king of inferior power or one who is provided with 
the aid of forts and friends has to make a short march in order to 
capture an enemy without waging war or to receive some expected 
profit, he may request a third king of superior power involved 
under various troubles and misfortunes the help of the latter's army 
in return for the payment of a share in the profit less than the 
strength of the army supplied deserves. If the king to whom this 
proposal is made is powerful enough to retaliate, he may declare 
war; but otherwise he may accept the proposal. 

When a king of superior power and free from all troubles is 
desirous of causing to his enemy loss of men an money in the 
latter's ill-considered undertakings, or of sending his own 
treacherous army abroad, or bringing his enemy under the clutches 
of an inimical army, or of causing trouble to a reducible and 
tottering enemy by setting a inferior king against that enemy, or is 
desirous of having peace for the sake of peace itself and is 
possessed of good intentions, he may accept a less share in the 
profit (promise for the army supplied to another) and endeavour to 
make wealth by combining with an ally if the latter is equally of 
good intentions; but otherwise he may declare war (against that 
ally). 



397 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



A king may deceive or help his equal as follows:— 

When a king proposes peace to another king of equal power 
on the condition of receiving the help of the latter army strong 
enough to oppose an enemy's army, or to guard the front, centre, 
and rear of his territory, or to help his friend, or to protect any other 
wild tracts of his territory in return for the payment of a share in the 
profit proportionally equal to the strength of the army supplied, the 
latter may accept the terms if the proposer is of good intentions; but 
otherwise he may declare war. 

When a king of equal power, capable of receiving the help of 
an army from another quarter requests of another king in troubles 
due to the diminished strength of the elements of sovereignty, and 
with many enemies, the help of the latter's army in return for the 
payment of a share in the profit less than the strength of the army 
supplied deserves, the latter, if powerful, may declare war or 
accept the terms otherwise. 

When a king who is under troubles, who has his works at the 
mercy of his neighbouring kings, and who has yet to make an army, 
requests of another king of equal power the help of the latter's army 
in return for the payment of a share in the profit greater than the 
strength of the army supplied deserves, the latter may accept the 
terms if the proposer is of good intentions: but otherwise war may 
be declared. 

When, with the desire of putting down a king in troubles due 
to the diminished strength of the elements of sovereignty, or with 
the desire of destroying his well-begun work of immense and 
unfailing profit, or with the intention of striking him in his own 
place or on the occasion of marching, one, though frequently 
getting immense (subsidy) from an assailable enemy of equal, 
inferior, or superior power, sends demands to him again and again, 

398 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



then he may comply with the demands of the former if he is 
desirous of maintaining his own power by destroying with the 
army of the former an impregnable fortress of an enemy or a friend 
of that enemy or laying waste the wild tracts of that enemy, or if he 
is desirous of exposing the army of the ally to wear and tear even in 
good roads and good seasons, or if he is desirous of strengthening 
his own army with that of his ally and thereby putting down the ally 
or winning over the army of the ally. 

When a king is desirous of keeping under his power another 
king of superior or inferior power as an assailable enemy and of 
destroying the latter after routing out another enemy with the help 
of the latter, or when he is desirous of getting back whatever he has 
paid (as subsidy), he may send a proposal of peace to another on 
the condition of paying more than the cost of the army supplied. If 
the king to whom this proposal is made is powerful enough to 
retaliate he may declare war; or if otherwise, he may accept the 
terms; or he may keep quiet allied with the assailable enemy; or he 
may supply the proposer of peace with his army full of traitors, 
enemies and wild tribes. 

When a king of superior power falls into troubles owing to the 
weakness of the elements of his sovereignty, and requests of an 
inferior king the help of the latter's army in return for the payment 
of a share in the profit proportionally equal to the strength of the 
army supplied, the latter, if powerful enough to retaliate, may 
declare war and if otherwise, accept the terms. 

A king of superior power may request of an inferior the help 
of the latter's army in return for the payment of a share in the profit 
less than the cost of the army supplied; and the latter, if powerful 
enough to retaliate, may declare war, or accept the terms otherwise. 

* The king who is sued for peace and also the king who offers 
peace should both consider the motive with which the proposal of 

399 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



peace is made, and adopt that course of action which on 
consideration seems to be productive of good results. 

[Thus ends Chapter VII "Peace and War by Adopting the Double 
Policy" in Book VII, "The end of the Six-fold Policy" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and fifth chapter from 
the beginning.] 



CHAPTER VIII. THE ATTITUDE OF AN ASSAILABLE 
ENEMY; AND FRIENDS THAT DESERVE HELP. 

WHEN an assailable enemy who is in danger of being 
attacked is desirous of taking upon himself the condition which led 
one king to combine with another against himself, or of splitting 
them from each other, he may propose peace to one of the kings on 
the condition of himself paying twice the amount of profit accruing 
from the combination. The agreement having been made, he may 
describe to that king the loss of men and money, the hardships of 
sojourning abroad, the commission of sinful deeds, and the misery 
and other personal troubles to which that king would have been 
subjected. When the king is convinced of the truth, the amount 
promised may be paid; or having made that king to incur enmity 
with other kings, the agreement itself may be broken off. 

When a king is inclined to cause to another, loss of men and 
money in the ill-considered undertakings of the latter or to frustrate 
the latter in the attempt of achieving large profits from well-begun 
undertakings; or when he means to strike another at his (another's) 
own place or while marching; or when he intends to exact subsidy 
again in combination with the latter's assailable enemy; or when he 
is in need of money and does not like to trust to his ally, he may, for 

400 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the time being, be satisfied with a small amount of profit. 

When a king has in view the necessity of helping a friend or of 
destroying an enemy, or the possibility of acquiring much wealth 
(in return for the present help) or when he intends to utilize in 
future the services of the one now obliged by him, he may reject the 
offer of large profit at the present in preference of a small gain in 
future. 

When a king means to help another from the clutches of 
traitors or enemies or of a superior king threatening the very 
existence of the latter, and intends thereby to set an example of 
rendering similar help to himself in future, he should receive no 
profit either at the present or in the future. 

When a king means to harass the people of an enemy or to 
break the agreement of peace between a friend and a foe, or when 
he suspects of another's attack upon himself, and when owing to 
any of these causes, he wants to break peace with his ally, he may 
demand from the latter an enhanced amount of profit long before it 
is due. The latter under these circumstances may demand for a 
procedure (krama) either at the present or in the future. The same 
procedure explains the cases treated of before. 

The conqueror and his enemy helping their respective friends 
differ according as their friends are such or are not such as 
undertake possible, praiseworthy or productive works and as are 
resolute in their undertakings and are provided with loyal and 
devoted subjects. 

Whoever undertakes tolerable work is a beginner possible 
work: whoever undertakes an unblemished work is a beginner of 
praiseworthy work; whoever undertakes work of large profits is a 
beginner of a productive work; whoever takes no rest before the 

401 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



completion of the work undertaken is a resolute worker; and 
whoever has loyal and devoted subjects is in a position to 
command help and to bring to a successful termination any work 
without losing anything in the form of favour. When such friends 
are gratified by the enemy or the conqueror, they can be of 
immense help to him; friends of reverse character should never be 
helped. 

Of the two, the conqueror and his enemy, both of whom may 
happen to have a friend in the same person, he who helps a true or a 
truer friend overreaches the other; for, by helping a true friend, he 
enriches himself, while the other not only incurs loss of men and 
money and the hardships of sojourning abroad, but also showers 
benefits on an enemy who hates the benefactor all the more for his 
gratification. 

Whoever of the two, the conqueror and his enemy, who may 
happen to have a friend in the same Madhyama king, helps a 
Madhyama king of true or truer friendship overreaches the other; 
for, by helping a true friend, he enriches himself, while the other 
incurs loss of men and money and the difficulties of sojourning 
abroad. When a Madhyama king thus helped is devoid of good 
qualities, then the enemy overreaches the conqueror: for, such a 
Madhyama king, spending his energies on useless undertakings 
and receiving help with no idea of returning it, withdraws himself 
away. 

The same thing holds good with a neutral king under similar 
circumstances. 

In case of helping with a portion of the army one of the two, a 
Madhyama or a neutral king, whoever happens to help one who is 
brave, skillful in handling weapons, and possessed of endurance 
and friendly feelings will himself be deceived while his enemy, 

402 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



helping one of reverse character, will overreach him. 

When a king achieves this or that object with the assistance of 
a friend who is to receive the help of his army in return later on, 
then he may send out of his various kinds of army— such as 
hereditary army, hired army, army formed of corporations of 
people, his friend's army and the army composed of wild 
tribes— either that kind of army which has the experience of all 
sorts of grounds and of seasons or the army of enemies or of wild 
tribes, which is far removed in space and time. 

When a king thinks that, "Though successful, my ally may 
cause my army to move in an enemy's territory or in wild tracts, 
and during unfavourable seasons and thereby he may render it 
useless to me," then under the excuse of having to employ his army 
otherwise, he may help his ally in any other way; but when he is 
obliged to lend his army, he may send that kind of his army, which 
is used to the weather of the time of operation, under the condition 
of employing it till the completion of the work, and of protecting it 
from dangers. When the ally has finished his work, he should, 
under some excuse, try to get back his army or he may send to his 
ally that army which is composed of traitors, enemies, and wild 
tribes; or having made peace with the ally's assailable enemy, he 
may deceive the ally. 

* When the profit accruing to kings under an agreement, 
whether they be of equal, inferior, or superior power, is equal to all, 
that agreement is termed peace (sandhi); when unequal, it is 
termed defeat (vikrama). Such is the nature of peace and war. 

[Thus ends Chapter VIII, "The Attitude of an Assailable Enemy; 
and Friends that Deserve Help," in Book VII, "The end of the 
Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred 
and sixth chapter from the beginning.] 



403 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER IX. AGREEMENT FOR THE ACQUISITION OF 
A FRIEND OR GOLD. 

OF the three gains, the acquisition of a friend, of gold, and of 
territory, accruing from the march of combined powers, that which 
is mentioned later is better than the one previously mentioned; for 
friends and gold can be acquired by means of territory; of the two 
gains, that of a friend and of gold, each can be a means to acquire 
the other. 

Agreement under the condition, "let us acquire a friend, etc.," 
is termed even peace; when one acquires a friend and the other 
makes an enemy, etc., it is termed uneven peace; and when one 
gains more than the other, it is deception. 

In an even peace (i.e., agreement on equal terms) whoever 
acquires a friend of good character or relieves an old friend from 
troubles, overreaches the other; for help given in misfortune 
renders friendship very firm. 

Which is better of the two: a friend of long-standing, but 
unsubmissive nature, or a temporary friend of submissive nature, 
both being acquired by affording relief from their respective 
troubles? 

My teacher says that a long-standing friend of unsubmissive 
nature is better inasmuch as such a friend, though not helpful, will 
not create harm. 

Not so, says Kautilya: a temporary friend of submissive 
nature is better; for such a friend will be a true friend so long as he 
is helpful; for the real characteristic of friendship lies in giving 
help. 



404 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Which is the better of two submissive friends: a temporary 
friend of large prospects, or a longstanding friend of limited 
prospects? 

My teacher says that a temporary friend of large prospects is 
better inasmuch as such a friend can, in virtue of his large 
prospects, render immense service in a very short time, and can 
stand undertakings of large outlay. 

Not so, says Kautilya: a long-standing friend of limited 
prospects is better, inasmuch as a temporary friend of large 
prospects is likely to withdraw his friendship on account of 
material loss in the shape of help given, or is likely to expect 
similar kind of help in return; but a long-standing friend of limited 
prospects can, in virtue of his long-standing nature, render 
immense service in the long run. 

Which is better, a big friend, difficult to be roused, or a small 
friend, easy to be roused? 

My teacher says that a big friend, though difficult to be 
roused, is of imposing nature, and when he rises up, he can 
accomplish the work undertaken. 

Not so, says Kautilya: a small friend easy to be roused is 
better, for such a friend will not, in virtue of his ready preparations, 
be behind the opportune moment of work, and can, in virtue of his 
weakness in power, be used in any way the conqueror may like; but 
not so the other of vast territorial power. 



Which is better, scattered troops, or an unsubmissive standing 



army? 



My teacher says that scattered troops can be collected in time 

405 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



as they are of submissive nature. 

Not so, says Kautilya: an unsubmissive standing army is 
better as it can be made submissive by conciliation and other 
strategic means; but it is not so easy to collect in time scattered 
troops as they are engaged in their individual avocations. 

Which is better, a friend of vast population, or a friend of 
immense gold? 

My teacher says that a friend of vast population is better 
inasmuch as such a friend will be of imposing power and can, when 
he rises up, accomplish any work undertaken. 

Not so, says Kautilya: a friend possessing immense gold is 
better; for possession of gold is ever desirable; but an army is not 
always required. Moreover armies and other desired objects can be 
purchased for gold. 

Which is better, a friend possessing gold, or a friend 
possessing vast territory? 

My teacher says that a friend possessing gold can stand any 
heavy expenditure made with discretion. 

Not so, says Kautilya: for it has already been stated that both 
friends and gold can be acquired by means of territory. Hence a 
friend of vast territory is far better. 

When the friend of the conqueror and his enemy happen to 
possess equal population, their people may yet differ in possession 
of qualities such as bravery, power of endurance, amicableness, 
and qualification for the formation of any kind of army. 

When the friends are equally rich in gold, they may yet differ 

406 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



in qualities such as readiness to comply with requests, 
magnanimous and munificent help, and accessibility at any time 
and always. 

About this topic, the following sayings are current: - 

* Long standing, submissive, easy to be roused, coming from 
fathers and grandfathers, powerful, and never of a contradictory 
nature, is a good friend; and these are said to be the six qualities of 
a good friend; 

* that friend who maintains friendship with disinterested motives 
and merely for the sake of friendship and by whom the relationship 
acquired of old is kept intact, is a long-standing friend; 

* that friend whose munificence is enjoyable in various ways is a 
submissive friend, and is said to be of three forms:— One who is 
enjoyable only by one, one who is enjoyable by two (the enemy 
and the conqueror), and one who is enjoyable by all, is the third; 

* that friend who, whether as receiving help or as giving help, lives 
with an oppressive hand over his enemies, and who possesses a 
number of forts and a vast army of wild tribes is said to be a 
long-standing friend of unsubmissive nature; 

* that friend who, either when attacked or when in trouble, makes 
friendship for the security of his own existence is temporary and 
submissive friend; 

* that friend who contracts friendship with a single aim in view and 
who is helpful, immutable, and amicable is a friend never falling 
foul even in adversity; 

* whoever is of an amicable nature is a true friend; whoever sides 
also with the enemy is a mutable friend and whoever is indifferent 
to neither (the conqueror and his enemy) is a friend to both; 

* that friend who is inimical to the conqueror or who is equally 
friendly to the conquerors enemy is a harmful friend, whether he is 
giving help or is capable of helping; 

* whoever helps the enemy's friend, protege, or any vulnerable 



407 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



person or a relation of the enemy is a friend common to (both) the 
enemy (and the conqueror); 

* whoever possesses extensive and fertile territory and is 
contented, strong, but indolent, will be indifferent (towards his 
ally) when the latter becomes despicable under troubles; 

* whoever, owing to his own weakness, follows the ascendancy of 
both the conqueror and his enemy, not incurring enmity with 
either, is known as a common friend; 

* whoever neglects a friend who is being hurt with or without 
reason and who seeks help with or without reason despises his own 
danger. 

Which is better, an immediate small gain, or a distant large 
gain? 

My teacher says that an immediate small gain is better, as it is 
useful to carry out immediate undertakings. 

Not so, says Kautilya: a large gain, as continuous as a 
productive seed, is better; otherwise an immediate small gain. 

* Thus, having taken into consideration the good aspects of a 
permanent gain or of a share in a permanent gain, should a king, 
desirous of strengthening himself, march combined with others. 

[Thus ends Chapter IX, "Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend 
or Gold" in the section of 'Agreement for the Acquisition of a 
Friend, Gold, or Land and Agreement for Undertaking a Work," in 
Book VII, "The end of the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and seventh chapter from the 
beginning.] 



408 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER X. AGREEMENT OF PEACE FOR THE 
ACQUISITION OF LAND. 

THE agreement made under the condition, "Let us acquire 
land," is an agreement of peace for the acquisition of land. 

Of the two kings thus entering into an agreement whoever 
acquires a rich and fertile land withstanding crops overreaches the 
other. 

The acquisition of rich land being equal, whoever acquires 
such land by putting down a powerful enemy overreaches the 
other; for not only does he acquire territory, but also destroys an 
enemy and thereby augments his own power. True, there is beauty 
in acquiring land by putting down a weak enemy; but the land 
acquired will also be poor, and the king in the neighbourhood who 
has hitherto been a friend, will now become an enemy. 

The enemies being equally strong, he who acquires territory 
after beating a fortified enemy overreaches the other; for the 
capture of a fort is conducive to the protection of territory and to 
the destruction of wild tribes. 

As to the acquisition of land from a wandering enemy, there is 
the difference of having a powerful or powerless enemy close to 
the acquired territory; for the land which is close to a powerless 
enemy is easily maintained while that bordering upon the territory 
of a powerful enemy has to be kept at the expense of men and 
money. 

Which is better, the acquisition of a rich land close to a 
constant enemy, or that of sterile land near to a temporary enemy? 

My teacher say that a rich land with a constant enemy is 

409 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



better, inasmuch as it yields much wealth to maintain a strong 
army, by which the enemy can be put down. 

Not so, says Kautilya: for a rich land creates many enemies, 
and the constant enemy will ever be an enemy, whether or not he is 
helped (with men and money to conciliate him); but a temporary 
enemy will be quiet either from fear or favour. That land, on the 
border of which there are a number of forts giving shelter to bands 
of thieves, Mlechchhas, and wild tribes is a land with a constant 
enemy; and that which is of reverse character is one with a 
temporary enemy. 

Which is better, a small piece of land, not far, or an extensive 
piece of land, very far? 

A small piece of land, not far, is better, inasmuch as it can be 
easily acquired, protected, and defended, whereas the other is of a 
reverse nature. 

Of the above two kinds of land, which is better, that which 
can be maintained by itself, or that which requires external armed 
force to maintain? 

The former is better, as it can be maintained with the army 
and money produced by itself, whereas the latter is of a reverse 
character as a military station. 

Which is better, acquisition of land from a stupid or a wise 
king? 

That acquired from a stupid king is better, as it can be easily 
acquired and secured, and cannot be taken back, whereas that 
obtained from a wise king, beloved of his subjects, is of a reverse 
nature. 

410 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Of two enemies, of whom one can only be harassed and 
another is reducible, acquisition of land from the latter is better; for 
when the latter is attacked, he, having little or no help, begins to run 
away, taking his army and treasure with him, and he is deserted by 
his subjects; whereas the former does not do so, as he has the help 
of his forts and friends.. 

Of two fortified kings, one who has his forts on a plain is 
more easily reduced than the other owning a fort in the centre of a 
river; for a fort in a plain can be easily assailed, destroyed or 
captured along with the enemy in it, whereas a fort, surrounded by 
a river requires twice as much effort to capture and supplies the 
enemy with water and other necessaries of life. 

Of two kings, one owning a fort surrounded by a river, and 
another having mountainous fortifications, seizing the former's 
land is better, for a fort in the centre of a river can be assailed by a 
bridge formed of elephants made to stand in a row in the river or by 
wooden bridges, or by means of boats; and the river will not always 
be deep and can be emptied of its water, whereas a fort on a 
mountain is of a self-defensive nature, and not easy to besiege or to 
ascend; and when one portion of the army defending it is routed 
out, the other portions can escape unhurt and such a fort is of 
immense service, as it affords facilities to throw down heaps of 
stone and trees over the enemy. 

Which is easier, seizing land from those who fight on plains, 
or from those who fight from low grounds? 

Seizing the land from the latter is easier, inasmuch as they 
have to fight in time and space of adverse nature whereas the 
former can fight anywhere and at any time. 

Of the two enemies, one fighting from ditches and another 
from heights (khanakdkdsayodhibhydm), seizing land from the 

411 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



former is better; for they can be serviceable inasmuch as they fight 
from ditches and with weapons in hand, whereas the latter can only 
fight with weapons in hand. 

* Whoever, well- versed in the science of polity, wrests land 
from such and other enemies will outshine both his allies in 
combination with him and enemies out of combination. 

[Thus ends Chapter X, "Agreement of Peace for the Acquisition of 
Land" in the section of "Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend, 
Gold, or Land and Agreement for Undertaking a Work," in Book 
VII, "The End of the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and eighth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XI. INTERMINABLE AGREEMENT. 

THE agreement made under the condition, "Let us colonize 
waste land," is termed an interminable agreement. 

Whoever of the two parties of the agreement colonizes a 
fertile land, reaping the harvest earlier, overreaches the other. 

Which is better for colonization: a plain or watery land? 

A limited tract of land with water is far better than a vast 
plain, inasmuch as the former is conducive to the growth of crops 
and fruits throughout the year. 

Of plains, that which is conducive to the growth of both early 
and late crops and which requires less labour and less rain for 
cultivation is better than the other of reverse character. 

412 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Of watery lands, that which is conducive to the growth of 
grains is better than another productive of crops other than grains. 

Of two watery tracts, one of limited area and conducive to the 
growth of grains, and another, vast and productive of crops other 
than grains, the latter is better, inasmuch as it affords vast area not 
only to grow spices and other medicinal crops, but also to construct 
forts and other defensive works in plenty: for fertility and other 
qualities of lands are artificial (kritrimah). 

Of the two tracts of land, one rich in grains and another in 
mines, the latter helps the treasury, while the former can fill both 
the treasury and the store-house; and besides this, the construction 
of forts and other buildings requires grains. Still, that kind of land 
containing mines and which yields precious metals to purchase 
large tracts of land is far better. 

My teacher says that of the two forests, one productive of 
timber, and another of elephants, the former is the source of all 
kinds of works and is of immense help in forming a store-house, 
while the latter is of reverse character. 

Not so, says Kautilya, for it is possible to plant any of 
timber-forests in many places, but not an elephant-forest; yet it is 
on elephants that the destruction of an enemy's army depends. 

Of the two, communication by water and by land, the former 
is not long-standing, while the latter can ever be enjoyed. 

Which is better, the land with scattered people or that with a 
corporation of people? 

The former is better inasmuch as it can be kept under control 
and is not susceptible to the intrigues of enemys while the latter is 

413 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



intolerant of calamities and susceptible, of anger and other 
passions. 

In colonizing a land with four castes, colonization with the 
lowest caste is better, inasmuch as it is serviceable in various ways, 
plentiful, and permanent. 

Of cultivated and uncultivated tracts, the uncultivated tract 
may be suitable for various kinds of agricultural operations; and 
when it is fertile, adapted for pasture grounds, manufacture of 
merchandise, mercantile transactions of borrowing and lending, 
and attractive to rich merchants, it is still far better (than a 
cultivated tract). 

Which is better of the two, the tract of land with forts or that 
which is thickly populated? 

The latter is better; for that which is thickly populated is a 
kingdom in all its senses. What can a depopulated country like a 
barren cow be productive of? 

The king who is desirous of getting back the land sold for 
colonization to another when the latter has lost his men and money 
in colonizing it, should first make an agreement with such a 
purchaser as is weak, base-born, devoid of energy, helpless, of 
unrighteous character, addicted to evil ways, trusting to fate, and 
indiscreet in his actions. When the colonization of a land entails 
much expenditure of men and money, and when a weak and 
base-born man attempts to colonize it, he will perish along with his 
people in consequence of his loss of men and money. Though 
strong, a base-born man will be deserted by his people who do not 
like him lest they may come to grief under him; though possessing 
an army, he cannot employ it if he is devoid of energy; and such an 
army will perish in consequence of the loss incurred by its master; 
though possessing wealth, a man who hesitates to part with his 

414 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



money and shows favour to none, cannot find help in any quarter; 
and when it is easy to drive out a man of unrighteous character 
from the colony in which he has firmly established himself, none 
can expect that a man of unrighteous character would be capable of 
colonizing a tract of waste land and keeping it secure; the same fact 
explains the fate of such a colonizer as is addicted to evil ways; 
whoever, trusting to fate and putting no reliance on manliness, 
withdraws himself from energetic work, will perish without 
undertaking anything or without achieving anything from his 
undertakings; and whoever is indiscreet in his actions will achieve 
nothing, and is the worst of the set of the colonizers. 

My teacher says that an indiscreet colonizer may sometimes 
betray the weak points of his employer, the conqueror. 

But Kautilya says that, just as he betrays the weak points, so 
also does he facilitate his destruction by the conqueror. 

In the absence of such persons to colonize waste lands, the 
conqueror may arrange for the colonization of waste land in the 
same way as we shall treat of later on in connection with the 
"Capture of an enemy in the rear." 

The above is what is termed verbal agreement 
(abhihitasandhih). 

When a king of immense power compels another to sell a 
portion of the latter's fertile territory of which the former is very 
fond, then the latter may make an agreement with the former and 
sell the land. This is what is termed "unconcealed peace" 
(anibhritasandhih) . 

When a king of equal power demands land from another as 
above, then the latter may sell it after considering "whether the 

415 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



land can be recovered by me, or can be kept under my control; 
whether my enemy can be brought under my power in consequence 
of his taking possession of the land; and whether I can acquire by 
the sale of the land friends and wealth, enough to help me in my 
undertakings." 

This explains the case of a king of inferior power, who 
purchases lands. 

* Whoever, well versed in the science of polity, thus acquires 
friends, wealth, and territory with or without population will 
overreach other kings in combination with him. 

[Thus ends Chapter XI, "Interminable Agreement" in the section of 
"Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend, Gold, or Land and 
Agreement for Undertaking a Work", Book VII, "The End of the 
Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred 
and ninth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XII. AGREEMENT FOR UNDERTAKING A 
WORK. 

WHEN an agreement is made on the condition "Let us have a 
fort built," it is termed agreement for undertaking a work. 

Whoever of the two kings builds an impregnable fortress on a 
spot naturally best fitted for the purpose with less labour and 
expenditure overreaches the other. 

Of forts such as a fort on a plain, in the centre of a river, and 
on a mountain, that which is mentioned later is of more advantage 

416 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



than the one previously mentioned; of irrigational works 
(setu-bandha), that which is of perennial water is better than that 
which is fed wit water drawn from other sources; and of works 
containing perennial water, that which can irrigate an extensive 
area is better. 

Of timber forests, whoever plants a forest which produces 
valuable articles, which expands into wild tracts, and which 
possesses a river on its border overreaches the other, for a forest 
containing a river is self-dependent and can afford shelter in 
calamities. 

Of game-forests, whoever plants a forest full of cruel beasts, 
close to an enemy's forest containing wild animals, causing 
therefore much harm to the enemy, and extending into an 
elephant-forest at the country's border, overreaches the other. 

My teacher says that of the two countries, one with a large 
number of effete persons, and another with a small number of 
brave persons, the latter is better inasmuch as, a few brave persons 
can destroy a large mass of effete persons whose slaughter brings 
about the destruction of the entire army of their master. 

Not so, says Kautilya, a large number of effete persons is 
better, inasmuch as they can be employed to do other kinds of 
works in the camp: to serve the soldiers fighting in battlefields, and 
to terrify the enemy by its number. It is also possible to infuse spirit 
and enthusiasm in the timid by means of discipline and training. 

Of mines, whoever exploits with less labour and expenditure 
a mine of valuable output and of easy communication overreaches 
the other. 

Which is better of the two, a small mine of valuable yield, or a 
big mine productive of commodities of inferior value? 

417 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



My teacher says that the former is better inasmuch as valuable 
products, such as diamonds, precious stones, pearls, corals, gold 
and silver, can swallow vast quantities of inferior commodities. 

Not so, says Kautilya, for there is the possibility of 
purchasing valuable commodities by a mass of accumulated 
articles of inferior value, collected from a vast and longstanding 
mine of inferior commodities. 

This explains the selection of trade-routes: 

My teacher says that of the two trade-routes, one by water and 
another by land, the former is better, inasmuch as it is less 
expensive, but productive of large profit. 

Not so, says Kautilya, for water route is liable to obstruction, 
not permanent, a source of imminent dangers, and incapable of 
defence, whereas a land-route is of reverse nature. 

Of water-routes, one along the shore and another in 
mid-ocean, the route along, and close to the shore is better, as it 
touches at many trading port-towns; likewise river navigation is 
better, as it is uninterrupted and is of avoidable or endurable 
dangers. 

My teacher says that of land-routes, that which leads to the 
Himalayas is better than that which leads to the south. 

Not so, says Kautilya, for with the exception of blankets, 
skins, and horses, other articles of merchandise such as, 
conch-shells, diamonds, precious stones, pearls and gold are 
available in plenty in the south. 

Of routes leading to the south, either that trade-route which 

418 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



traverses a large number of mines which is frequented by people, 
and which is less expensive or troublesome, or that route by taking 
which plenty of merchandise of various kinds can be obtained is 
better. 

This explains the selection of trade-routes leading either to 
the east or to the west. 

Of a cart-track and a foot-path, a cart-track is better as it 
affords facilities for preparations on a large scale. 

Routes that can be traversed by asses or camels, irrespective 
of countries and seasons are also good. 

This explains the selection of trade-routes traversed by men 
alone (amsa-patha, shoulder-path, i.e., a path traversed by men 
carrying merchandise on their shoulders). 

* It is a loss for the conqueror to undertake that kind of work which 
is productive of benefits to the enemy, while a work of reverse 
nature is a gain. When the benefits are equal, the conqueror has to 
consider that his condition is stagnant. 

* Likewise it is a loss to undertake a work of less out-put and of a 
greater outlay, while a work of reverse nature is a gain. If the 
out-put and outlay of a work are at par, the conqueror has to 
consider that his condition is stagnant. 

* Hence the conqueror should find out such fort-building and other 
works as, instead of being expensive, are productive of greater 
profit and power. Such is the nature of agreements for undertaking 
works. 

[Thus ends Chapter XII, "Agreement for Undertaking a Work," in 
the section of "Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend, Gold, or 
Land and Agreement for Undertaking a Work'" in Book VIII, "The 
End of the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 

419 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the hundred and tenth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIII. CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT AN ENEMY 
IN THE REAR. 

WHEN the conqueror and his enemy simultaneously 
proceeded to capture the rear of their respective enemies who are 
engaged in an attack against others, he who captures the rear of one 
who is possessed of vast resources gains more advantages 
(atisandhatte); for one who is possessed of vast resources has to 
put down the rear-enemy only after doing away with one's frontal 
enemy already attacked, but not one who is poor in resources and 
who has not realised the desired profits. 

Resources being equal, he who captures the rear of one who 
has made vast preparations gains more advantages for one who has 
made vast preparations has to put down the enemy in the rear only 
after destroying the frontal enemy, but not one whose preparations 
are made on a small scale and whose movements are, therefore, 
obstructed by the Circle of States. 

Preparations being equal, he who captures the rear of one who 
has marched out with all the resources gains more advantages; for 
one whose base is undefended is easy to be subdued, but not one 
who has marched out with a part of the army after having made 
arrangements to defend the rear. 

Troops taken being of equal strength, he who captures the rear 
of one who has gone against a wandering enemy gains more 
advantages; for one who has marched out against a wandering 
enemy has to put down the rear-enemy only after obtaining an easy 

420 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



victory over the wandering enemy; but not one who has marched 
out against an entrenched enemy, for one who has marched out 
against an entrenched enemy will be repelled in his attack against 
the enemy's forts and will, after his return, find himself between the 
rear-enemy, and the frontal enemy who is possessed of strong forts. 

This explains the cases of other enemies described before. 

Enemies being of equal description, he who attacks the rear of 
one who has gone against a virtuous king gains more advantages, 
for one who has gone against a virtuous king will incur the 
displeasure of even his own people, whereas one who has attacked 
a wicked king will endear himself to all. 

This explains the consequences of capturing the rear of those 
who have marched against an extravagant king or a king living 
from hand to mouth, or a niggardly king. 

The same reasons hold good in the case of those who have 
marched against their own friends. 

When there are two enemies, one engaged in attacking a 
friend and another an enemy, he who attacks the rear of the latter 
gains more advantages: for one who has attacked a friend will, after 
easily making peace with the friend, proceed against the 
rear-enemy; for it is easier to make peace with a friend than with an 
enemy. 

When there are two kings, one engaged in destroying a friend, 
and another an enemy, he who attacks the rear of the former gains 
more advantages; for one who is engaged in destroying an enemy 
will have the support of his friends and will thereby put down the 
rear-enemy, but not the former who is engaged in destroying his 
own side. 

421 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When the conqueror and his enemy in their attack against the 
rear of an enemy mean to enforce the payment of what is not due to 
them, he whose enemy has lost considerable profits and has 
sustained a great loss of men and money gains more advantages; 
when they mean to enforce the payment of what is due to them, 
then he whose enemy has lost profits and army, gains more 
advantages. 

When the assailable enemy is capable of retaliation and when 
the assailant's rear-enemy, capable of augmenting his army and 
other resources, has entrenched himself on one of the assailant's 
flanks, then the rear-enemy gains more advantages; for a rear 
enemy on one of the assailant's flanks will not only become a 
friend of the assailable enemy, but also attack the base of the 
assailant, whereas a rear-enemy behind the assailant can only 
harass the rear. 

* Kings, capable of harassing the rear of an enemy and of 
obstructing his movements are three: the group of kings situated 
behind the enemy, and the group of kings on his flanks. 

* He who is situated between a conqueror and his enemy is called 
an antardhi (one between two kings); when such a king is 
possessed of forts, wild tribes, and other kinds of help, he proves an 
impediment in the way of the strong. 

When the conqueror and his enemy are desirous of catching 
hold of a madhyama king and attack the latter's rear, then he who in 
his attempt to enforce the promised payment separates the 
madhyama king from the latter's friend and obtains, thereby, an 
enemy as a friend, gains more advantages; for an enemy compelled 
to sue for peace will be of greater help than a friend compelled to 
maintain the abandoned friendship. 

This explains the attempt to catch hold of a neutral king. 

422 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Of attacks from the rear and front, that which affords 
opportunities of carrying on a treacherous fight (mantrayuddha) is 
preferable. 

My teacher says that in an open war, both sides suffer by 
sustaining a heavy loss of men and money; and that even the king 
who wins a victory will appear as defeated in consequence of the 
loss of men and money. 

No, says Kautilya, even at considerable loss of men and 
money, the destruction of an enemy is desirable. 

Loss of men and money being equal, he who entirely destroys 
first his frontal enemy, and next attacks his rear-enemy gains more 
advantages; when both the conqueror and his enemy are severally 
engaged in destroying their respective frontal enemies, he who 
destroys a frontal enemy of deep rooted enmity and of vast 
resources, gains more advantages. 

This explains the destruction of other enemies and wild tribes: 

* When an enemy in the rear and in the front, and an assailable 
enemy to be marched against happen together then the conqueror 
should adopt the following policy:— 

* The rear-enemy will usually lead the conqueror's frontal enemy 
to attack the conqueror's friend; then having set the dkranda (the 
enemy of the rear-enemy) against the rear-enemy's ally, 

* and, having caused war between them, the conqueror should 
frustrate the rear-enemy's designs; likewise he should provoke 
hostilities between, the allies of the dkranda and of the rear-enemy; 

* he should also keep his frontal enemy's friend engaged in war 
with his own friend; and with the help of his friend's friend, he 
should avert the attack, threatened by the friend of his enemy's 
friend; 

423 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* he should, with his friend's help, hold his rear-enemy at bay; and 
with the help of his friend's friend, he should prevent his 
rear-enemy attacking the dkranda (his rear-ally); 

* thus the conqueror should, through the aid of his friends, bring 
the Circle of States under his own sway both in his rear and front; 

* he should send messengers and spies to reside in each of the 
states composing the Circle and having again and again destroyed 
the strength of his enemies he should keep his counsels concealed, 
being friendly with his friends; 

* the works of him whose counsels are not kept concealed, will, 
though they may prosper for a time, perish as undoubtedly as a 
broken raft on the sea. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIII, "Considerations about an Enemy in the 
Rear," in Book VII, "The End of the Six-fold Policy" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and eleventh chapter 
from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XIV. RECRUITMENT OF LOST POWER. 

WHEN the conqueror is thus attacked by the combined army 
of his enemies, he may tell their leader: "I shall make peace with 
you; this is the gold, and I am the friend; your gain is doubled; it is 
not worthy of you to augment at your own expense the power of 
your enemies who keep a friendly appearance now; for gaining in 
power, they will put you down in the long run." 

Or he may tell the leader so as to break the combination: "Just 
as an innocent person like myself is now attacked by the combined 
army of these kings, so the very same kings in combination will 
attack you in weal or woe; for power intoxicates the mind; hence 

424 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



break their combination." 

The combination being broken, he may set the leader against 
the weak among his enemies; or offering inducements, he may set 
the combined power of the weak against the leader; or in whatever 
way be may find it to be conducive to his own prosperity, in that 
way he may make the leader incur the displeasure of others, and 
thus frustrate their attempts; or showing the prospect of a larger 
profit, he may through intrigue, make peace with their leader. Then 
the recipients of salaries from two states, exhibiting the acquisition 
of large profits (to the leader), may satirise the kings, saying, "You 
are all very well combined." 

If some of the kings of the combination are wicked, they may 
be made to break the treaty; then the recipients of salaries from two 
states may again tell them so as to break the combination entirely: 
"This is just what we have already pointed out." 

When the enemies are separated, the conqueror may move 
forward by catching hold of any of the kings (as an ally). 

In the absence of a leader, the conqueror may win him over 
who is the inciter of the combination; or who is of a resolute mind, 
or who has endeared himself to his people, or who, from greed or 
fear, joined the combination, or who is afraid of the conqueror, or 
whose friendship with the conqueror is based upon some 
consanguinity of royalty, or who is a friend, or who is a wandering 
enemy,— in the order of enumeration. 

Of these, one has to please the inciter by surrendering oneself; 
by conciliation and salutation; him who is of a resolute mind; by 
giving a daughter in marriage or by availing oneself of his youth (to 
beget a son on one's wife?); him who is the beloved of his people, 
by giving twice the amount of profits; him who is greedy, by 
helping with men and money; him who is afraid of the 

425 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



combination, by giving a hostage to him who is naturally timid; by 
entering into a closer union with him whose friendship is based 
upon some consanguinity of royalty; by doing what is pleasing and 
beneficial to both or by abandoning hostilities against him who is a 
friend; and by offering help and abandoning hostilities against him 
who is a wandering enemy; one has to win over the confidence of 
any of the above kings by adopting suitable means or by means of 
conciliation, gifts, dissension, or threats, as will be explained under 
"Troubles." 

He who is in troubles and is apprehensive of an attack from 
his enemy, should, on the condition of supplying the enemy with 
army and money, make peace with the enemy on definite terms 
with reference to place, time, and work; he should also set right any 
offence he might have given by the violation of a treaty; if he has 
no supporters, he should find them among his relatives and friends; 
or he may build an impregnable fortress, for he who is defended by 
forts and friends will be respected both by his own and his enemy's 
people. 

Whoever is wanting in the power of deliberation should 
collect wise men around himself, and associate with old men of 
considerable learning; thus he would attain his desired ends. 

He who is devoid of a good treasury and army should direct 
his attention towards the strengthening of the safety and security of 
the elements of his sovereignty; for the country is the source of all 
those works which are conducive to treasury and army; the haven 
of the king and of his army is a strong fort. 

Irrigational works (setubandha) are the source of crops; the 
results of a good shower of rain are ever attained in the case of 
crops below irrigational works. 



426 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The roads of traffic are a means to overreach an enemy; for it 
is through the roads of traffic that armies and spies are led (from 
one country to another); and that weapons, armour, chariots, and 
draught- animals are purchased; and that entrance and exit (in 
travelling) are facilitated. 

Mines are the source of whatever is useful in battle. 

Timber-forests are the source of such materials as are 
necessary for building forts, conveyances and chariots. 

Elephant-forests are the source of elephants. 

Pasture-lands are the source of cows, horses, and camels to 
draw chariots. 

In the absence of such sources of his own, he should acquire 
them from some one among his relatives and friends. If he is 
destitute of an army, he should, as far as possible, attract to himself 
the brave men of corporations, of thieves, of wild tribes, of 
Mlechchhas, and of spies who are capable of inflicting injuries 
upon enemies. 

He should also adopt the policy of a weak king towards 
powerful king in view of averting danger from enemies or friends. 

* Thus with the aid of one's own party, the power of 
deliberation, the treasury, and the army, one should get rid of the 
clutches of one's enemies. 

[Thus ends Chapter XIV, "Recruitment of Lost Power," in Book 
VII, "The End of the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and twelfth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



427 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER XV. MEASURES CONDUCIVE TO PEACE 
WITH A STRONG AND PROVOKED ENEMY; AND THE 
ATTITUDE OF A CONQUERED ENEMY. 

WHEN a weak king is attacked by a powerful enemy, the 
former should seek the protection of one who is superior to his 
enemy and whom his enemy's power of deliberation for intrigue 
cannot affect. Of kings who are equal in the power of deliberation, 
difference should be sought in unchangeable prosperity and in 
association with the aged. 

In the absence of a superior king, he should combine with a 
number of his equals who are equal in power to his enemy and 
whom his enemy's power of purse, army, and intrigue cannot 
reach. Of kings who are equally possessed of the power of purse, 
army, and intrigue, difference should be sought in their capacity for 
making vast preparations. 

In the absence of equals, he should combine with a number of 
inferior kings who are pure and enthusiastic, who can oppose the 
enemy, and whom his enemy's power of purse, army, and intrigue 
cannot react. Of kings who are equally possessed of enthusiasm 
and capacity for action, a difference should be sought in the 
opportunity of securing favourable battle fields. Of kings who are 
equally possessed of favourable battle fields, difference should be 
sought in their ever being ready for war. Of kings who are equal 
possessed of favourable battlefields and who are equally ready for 
war, difference should be sought in their possession of weapons 
and armour necessary for war. 

In the absence of any such help, he should seek shelter inside 
a fort in which his enemy with a large army can offer no 
obstruction to the supply of food-stuff, grass, firewood and water, 

428 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



but would sustain a heavy loss of men and money. When there are 
many forts, difference should be sought in their affording facility 
for the collection of stores and supplies. Kautilya is of opinion that 
one should entrench oneself in a fort inhabited by men and 
provided with stores and supplies. Also for the following reasons, 
one should shelter oneself in such a fort:— 

"I shall oppose him (the enemy) with his rear-enemy's ally or 
with a madhyama king, or with a neutral king; I shall either capture 
or devastate his kingdom with the aid of a neighbouring king, a 
wild tribe, a scion of his family, or an imprisoned prince; by the 
help of my partisans with him, I shall create troubles in his fort, 
country or camp; when he is near, I shall murder him with 
weapons, fire, or poison, or any other secret means at my pleasure; 
I shall, cause him to sustain a heavy loss of men and money in 
works undertaken by himself or made to be undertaken at the 
instance of my spies; I shall easily sow the seeds of dissension 
among his friends or his army when they have suffered from loss of 
men and money; I shall catch hold of his camp by cutting off 
supplies and stores going to it; or by surrendering myself (to him), I 
shall create some weak points in him and put him down with all my 
resources; or having curbed his spirit, I shall compel him to make 
peace with me on my own terms; when I obstruct his movements 
troubles arise to him from all sides; when he is helpless, I shall slay 
him with the help of my hereditary army or with his enemy's army; 
or with wild tribes; I shall maintain the safety and security of my 
vast country by entrenching myself within my fort; the army of 
myself and of my friends will be invincible when collected 
together in this fort; my army which is trained to fight from valleys, 
pits, or at night, will bring him into difficulties on his way, when he 
is engaged in an immediate work; owing to loss of men and money, 
he will make himself powerless when he arrives here at a bad place 
and in a bad time; owing to the existence of forts and of wild tribes 
(on the way), he will find this country accessible only at 

429 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



considerable cost of men and money; being unable to find positions 
favourable for the exercise of the armies of himself and of his 
friends, suffering from disease, he will arrive here in distress; or 
having arrived here, he will not return." 

In the absence of such circumstances, or when the enemy's 
army is very strong, one may run away abandoning one's fort. 

My teacher says that one may rush against the enemy like a 
moth against a flame; success in one way or other (i.e., death or 
victory) is certain for one who is reckless of life. 

No, says Kautilya, having observed the conditions conducive 
to peace between himself and his enemy, he may make peace; in 
the absence of such conditions, he may, by taking recourse to 
threats secure peace or a friend; or he may send a messenger to one 
who is likely to accept peace; or having pleased with wealth and 
honour the messenger sent by his enemy, he may tell the latter: 
"This is the king's manufactory; this is the residence of the queen 
and the princes; myself and this kingdom are at your disposal, as 
approved of by the queen and the princes." 

Having secured his enemy's protection, he should behave 
himself like a servant to his master by serving the protector's 
occasional needs. Forts and other defensive works, acquisition of 
things, celebration of marriages, installation of the heir-apparent, 
commercial undertakings, capture of elephants, construction of 
covert places for battle (sattra), marching against an enemy, and 
holding sports,— all these he should undertake only at the 
permission of his protector. He should also obtain his protector's 
permission before making any agreement with people settled in his 
country or before punishing those who may run away from his 
country. If the citizens and country people living in his kingdom 
prove disloyal or inimical to him, he may request of his protector 

430 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



another good country; or he may get rid of wicked people by 
making use of such secret means as are employed against traitors. 
He should not accept the offer of a good country even from a 
friend. Unknown his protector, he may see the protector's minister, 
high priest, commander of the army or heir-apparent. He should 
also help his protector as much as he can. On all occasions of 
worshipping gods and of making prayers, be should cause his 
people to pray for the long life of his protector; and he should 
always proclaim his readiness to place himself at the disposal of his 
protector. 

* Serving him who is strong and combined with others and 
being far away from the society of suspected persons, a conquered 
king should thus always behave himself towards his protector. 

[Thus ends Chapter XV, "Measures Conducive to Peace with a 
Strong and Provoked Enemy and the Attitude of a Conquered 
Enemy," in Book VII, "The End of the Six-fold Policy" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and thirteenth chapter 
from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVI. THE ATTITUDE OF A CONQUERED 
KING. 

IN view of causing financial trouble to his protector, a 
powerful vassal king, desirous of making conquests, may, under 
the permission of his protector, march on countries where the 
formation of the ground and the climate are favourable for the 
manoeuvre of his army, his enemy having neither forts, nor any 
other defensive works, and the conqueror himself having no 
enemies in the rear. Otherwise (in case of enemies in the rear), he 

431 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



should march after making provisions for the defence of his rear. 

By means of conciliation and gifts, he should subdue weak 
kings; and by means of sowing the seeds of dissension and by 
threats, strong kings. By adopting a particular, or an alternative, or 
all of the strategic means, he should subdue his immediate and 
distant enemies. 

He should observe the policy of conciliation by promising the 
protection of villages, of those who live in forests, of flocks of 
cattle, and of the roads of traffic as well as the restoration of those 
who have been banished or who have run away or who have done 
some harm. 

Gifts of land, of things, and of girls in marriage and absence 
of fear,— by declaring these, he should observe the policy of gifts. 

By instigating any one of a neighbouring king, a wild chief, a 
scion of the enemy's family, or an imprisoned prince, he should 
sow the seeds of dissension. 

By capturing the enemy in an open battle, or in a treacherous 
fight, or through a conspiracy, or in the tumult of seizing the 
enemy's fort by strategic means, he should punish the enemy. 

He may reinstate kings who are spirited and who can 
strengthen his army; likewise he may reinstate those who are 
possessed of a good treasury and army and who can therefore help 
him with money; as well as those who are wise and who can 
therefore provide him with lands. 

Whoever among his friends helps him with gems, precious 
things, raw materials acquired from commercial towns, villages, 
and mines, or with conveyances and draught-animals acquired 
from timber and elephant- forests, and herds of cattle, is a friend 

432 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



affording a variety of enjoyment (chitrabhoga); whoever supplies 
him with wealth and army is a friend affording vast enjoyment 
(mahdbhoga); whoever supplies him with army, wealth, and lands 
is a friend affording all enjoyments (sarvabhoga); whoever 
safeguards him against a side-enemy is a friend affording 
enjoyments on one side (ekatobhogi); whoever helps also his 
enemy and his enemy's allies is a friend affording enjoyment to 
both sides (ubhayatobhogi); and whoever helps him against his 
enemy, his enemy's ally, his neighbour, and wild tribes is a friend 
affording enjoyment on all sides (sarvatobogi). 

If he happens to have an enemy in the rear, or a wild chief, or 
an enemy, or a chief enemy capable of being propitiated with the 
gift of lands, he should provide such an enemy with a useless piece 
of land,; an enemy possessed of forts with a piece of land not 
connected with his (conqueror's) own territory; a wild chief with a 
piece of land yielding no livelihood; a scion of the enemy's family 
with a piece of land that can be taken back; an enemy's prisoner 
with a piece of land which is (not?) snatched from the enemy; a 
corporation of armed men with a piece of land, constantly under 
troubles from an enemy; the combination of corporations with a 
piece of land close to the territory of a powerful king; a corporation 
invincible in war with a piece of land under both the above 
troubles; a spirited king desirous of war with a piece of land which 
affords no advantageous positions for the manoeuvre of the army; 
an enemy's partisan with waste lands; a banished prince with a 
piece of land exhausted of its resources; a king who has renewed 
the observance of a treaty of peace after breaking it, with a piece of 
land which can be colonized at considerable cost of men and 
money; a deserted prince with a piece of land which affords no 
protection, and his own protector with an uninhabitable piece of 
land. 

(The king who is desirous of making conquests) should 

433 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



continue in following the same policy towards him, who, among 
the above kings, is most helpful and keeps the same attitude; 
should by secret means bring him round who is opposed; should 
favour the helpful with facilities for giving further help, besides 
bestowing rewards and honour at all costs upon him; should give 
relief to him who is under troubles; should receive visitors at their 
own choice and afford satisfaction to them; should avoid using 
contemptuous, threatening, defamatory, or harsh words towards 
them; should like a father protect those who are promised security 
from fear; should punish the guilty after publishing their guilt; and 
in order to avoid causing suspicion to the protector, the vassal-king 
should adopt the procedure of inflicting secret punishments upon 
offenders. 

He should never covet the land, things, and sons and wives of 
the king slain by him; he should reinstate in their own estates the 
relatives of the kings slain. He should install in the kingdom the 
heir-apparent of the king who has died while working (with the 
conqueror); all conquered kings will, if thus treated, loyally follow 
the sons and grandsons of the conqueror. 

Whoever covets the lands, things, sons, and wives of the 
kings whom he has either slain or bound in chains will cause 
provocation to the Circle of States and make it rise against himself; 
also his own ministers employed in his own territory will be 
provoked and will seek shelter under the circle of states, having an 
eye upon his life and kingdom. 

* Hence conquered kings preserved in their own lands in 
accordance with the policy of conciliation will be loyal to the 
conqueror and follow his sons and grandsons. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVI, "The Attitude of a Conquered King," in 
Book VII, "The End of the Six-fold Policy," of the Arthasdstra of 

434 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Kautilya. End of the hundred and fourteenth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVII. MAKING PEACE AND BREAKING IT. 

THE words sama (quiet), sandhi (agreement of peace), and 
samddhi (reconcilement), are synonymous. That which is 
conducive to mutual faith among kings is termed sama, sandhi, or 
samddhi. 

My teacher says that peace, depended upon honesty or oath, is 
mutable, while peace with a security or an hostage is immutable. 

No, says Kautilya, peace, dependent upon honesty or oath is 
immutable both in this and the next world. It is for this world only 
that a security or an hostage is required for strengthening the 
agreement. 

Honest kings of old made their agreement of peace with this 
declaration: "We have joined in peace." 

In case of any apprehension of breach of honesty, they made 
their agreement by swearing by fire, water, plough, the brick of a 
fort-wall, the shoulder of an elephant, the hips of a horse, the front 
of a chariot, a weapon, seeds, scents, juice (rasa), wrought gold 
(suvarna), or bullion gold (hiranya), and by declaring that these 
things will destroy and desert him who violates the oath. 

In order to avoid the contingency of violation of oath, peace 
made with the security of such persons as ascetics engaged in 
penance, or nobles is peace with a security. In such a peace, 
whoever takes as security a person capable of controlling the 

435 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



enemy gains more advantages, while he who acts to the contrary is 
deceived. 

In peace made with children as hostages, and in the case of 
giving a princess or a prince as an hostage, whoever gives a 
princess gains advantages; for a princess, when taken as an 
hostage, causes troubles to the receiver, while a prince is of reverse 
nature. 

With regard to two sons, whoever hands over a highborn, 
brave and wise son, trained in military art, or an only son is 
deceived, while he who acts otherwise gains advantages. It is better 
to give a base-born son as an hostage than a high-born one, 
inasmuch as the former has neither heirship nor the right to beget 
heirs; it is better to give a stupid son than a wise one, inasmuch as 
the former is destitute of the power of deliberation; better to give a 
timid son than a brave one, inasmuch as the former is destitute of 
martial spirit; better, a son who is not trained in military art than 
one who is trained, inasmuch as the former is devoid of the 
capacity for striking an enemy; and better one of many sons than an 
only son, since many sons are not wanted. 

With regard to a high-born and a wise son, people will 
continue to be loyal to a highborn son though he is not wise; a wise 
son, though base-born, is characterized with capacity to consider 
state matters; but so far as capacity to consider state matters is 
concerned, a. high-born prince associating himself with the aged, 
has more advantages than a wise but base-born prince. 

With regard to a wise and a brave prince, a wise prince, 
though timid, is characterized with capacity for intellectual works; 
and a brave prince though not wise, possesses warlike spirit. So far 
as warlike spirit is concerned, a wise prince overreaches a brave 
one just as a hunter does an elephant. 

436 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



With regard to a brave and a trained prince, a brave prince, 
though untrained, is characterized with capacity for war; and a 
trained prince, though timid, is capable of hitting objects aright. 
Notwithstanding the capacity for hitting objects aright, a brave 
prince excels a trained prince in determination and firm adherence 
to his policy. 

With regard to a king having many sons and another an only 
son, the former, giving one of his sons as a hostage and being 
contented with the rest, is able to break the peace but not the latter. 

When peace is made by handing over the whole lot of sons, 
advantage is to be sought in capacity to beget additional sons; 
capacity to beget additional sons being common, he who can beget 
able sons will have more advantages than another king (who is not 
so fortunate); capacity to beget able sons being common, he by 
whom the birth of a son is early expected will have more 
advantages than another (who is not so fortunate). 

In the case of an only son who is also brave, he who has lost 
capacity to beget any more sons should surrender himself as an 
hostage, but not the only son. 

Whoever is rising in power may break the agreement of 
peace. Carpenters, artisans, and other spies, attending upon the 
prince (kept as an hostage) and doing work under the enemy, may 
take away the prince at night through an underground tunnel dug 
for the purpose. Dancers, actors, singers, players on musical 
instruments, buffoons, court-bards, swimmers, and saubhikas (?), 
previously set about the enemy, may continue under his service 
and may indirectly serve the prince. They should have the privilege 
of entering into, staying in and going out of, the palace at any time 
without rule. The prince may therefore get out at night disguised as 
any one of the above spies. 



437 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



This explains the work of prostitutes and other women spies 
under the garb of wives; the prince may get out, carrying their 
pipes, utensils, or vessels. 

Or the prince may be removed concealed under things, 
clothes, commodities, vessels, beds, seats and other articles by 
cooks, confectioners, servants employed to serve the king while 
bathing, servants employed for carrying conveyances, for 
spreading the bed, toilet- making, dressing, and procuring water; or 
taking something in pitch dark, he may get out, disguised as a 
servant. 

Or he may (pretend to) be in communion with god Varuna in 
a reservoir (which is seen) through a tunnel or to which he is taken 
at night; spies under the guise of traders dealing in cooked rice and 
fruits may (poison those things and) distribute among the sentinels. 

Or having served the sentinels with cooked rice and beverage 
mixed with the juice of madana plant on occasions of making 
offerings to gods or of performing an ancestral ceremony or some 
sacrificial rite, the prince may get out; or by bribing the sentinels; 
or spies disguised as a ndgaraka (officer in charge of the city), a 
court-bard, or a physician may set fire to a building filled with 
valuable articles; or sentinels or spies disguised as merchants may 
set fire to the store of commercial articles; or in view of avoiding 
the fear of pursuit, the prince may, after putting some human body 
in the house occupied by him, set fire to it and escape by breaking 
open some house-joints, or a window, or through a tunnel; or 
having disguised himself as a carrier of glass-beads, pots, and other 
commodities, he may set out at night; or having entered the 
residence of ascetics with shaven heads or with twisted hair, he 
may set out at night, disguised as any one of them; or having 
disguised himself as one suffering from a peculiar disease or as a 
forest-man, he may get out; or spies may carry him away as a 

438 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



corpse; or disguised as a widowed wife, be may follow a corpse 
that is being carried away. Spies disguised as forest-people, should 
mislead the pursuers of the prince by pointing out another 
direction, and the prince himself may take a different direction. 

Or he may escape, hiding himself in the midst of carts of 
cart-drivers; if he is closely followed, he may lead the pursuers to 
an ambuscade (sattra); in the absence of an ambuscade he may 
leave here and there gold or morsels of poisoned food on both sides 
of a road and take a different road. 

If he is captured, he should try to win over the pursuers by 
conciliation and other means, or serve them with poisoned food; 
and having caused another body to be put in a sacrifice performed 
to please god Varuna or in a fire that has broken out (the prince's 
father), may accuse the enemy of the murder of his son and attack 
the enemy. 

* Or taking out a concealed sword, and falling upon the 
sentinels, he may quickly run away together with the spies 
concealed before. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVII, "Making Peace and Breaking It," in 
Book VII, "The End of the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and fifteenth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER XVIII. THE CONDUCT OF A MADHYAMA 
KING, A NEUTRAL KING, AND OF A CIRCLE OF 
STATES. 



439 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



THE third and the fifth states from a madhyama king are states 
friendly to him; while the second, the fourth, and the sixth are 
unfriendly. If the madhyama king shows favour to both of these 
states, the conqueror should be friendly with him; if he does not 
favour them, the conqueror should be friendly with those states. 

If the madhyama king is desirous of securing the friendship 
of the conqueor's would-be friend, then having set his own and his 
friend's friends against the madhyama, and having separated the 
madhyama from the latter's friends, the conqueror should preserve 
his own friend; or the conqueror may incite the Circle of States 
against the madhyama by telling them; "this madhyama king has 
grown haughty, and is aiming at our destruction: let us therefore 
combine and interrupt his march." 

If the Circle of States is favourable to his cause, then he may 
aggrandise himself by putting down the madhyama; if not 
favourable, then having helped his friend with men and money, he 
should, by means of conciliation and gifts, win over either the 
leader or a neighbouring king among the kings who hate the 
madhyama, or who have been living with mutual support, or who 
will follow the one that is won over (by the conqueror), or who do 
not rise owing to mutual suspicion; thus by winning over a second 
(king), he should double his own power; by securing a third, he 
should treble his own power; thus gaining in strength, he should 
put down the madhyama king. 

When place and time are found unsuitable for success in the 
above attempt, he should, by peace, seek the friendship of one of 
the enemies of the madhyama king, or cause some traitors to 
combine against the madhyama; if the madhyama king is desirous 
of reducing the conqueror's friend, the conqueror should prevent it, 
and tell the friend: "I shall protect you as long as you are weak," 
and should accordingly protect him when he is poor in resources; if 

440 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the madhyama king desires to rout out a friend of the conqueror, 
the latter should protect him in his difficulties; or having removed 
him from the fear of the madhyama king, the conqueror should 
provide him with new lands and keep him under his (the 
conqueror's) protection, lest he might go elsewhere. 

If, among the conqueror's friends who are either reducible or 
assailable enemies of the madhyama king, some undertake to help 
the madhyama, then the conqueror should make peace with a third 
king; and if among the madhyama king's friends who are either 
reducible or assailable enemies of the conqueror, some are capable 
of offence and defence and become friendly to the conqueror, then 
he should make peace with them; thus the conqueror cannot only 
attain his own ends, but also please the madhyama king. 

If the madhyama king is desirous of securing a would-be 
friend of the conqueror as a friend, then the conqueror may make 
peace with another king, or prevent the friend from going to the 
madhyama, telling him: "It is unworthy of you to forsake a friend 
who is desirous of your friendship," or the conqueror may keep 
quiet, if the conqueror thinks that the Circle of States would be 
enraged against the friend for deserting his own party. If the 
madhyama king is desirous of securing the conqueror's enemy as 
his friend, then the conqueror should indirectly (i.e., without being 
known to the madhyama) help the enemy with wealth and army. 

If the madhyama king desires to win the neutral king, the 
conqueror should sow the seeds of dissension between them. 
Whoever of the madhyama and the neutral kings is esteemed by the 
Circle of States, his protection should the conqueror seek. 

The conduct of the madhyama king explains that of the 
neutral king. If the neutral king is desirous of combining with the 
madhyama king, then the conqueror should so attempt as to 

441 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



frustrate the desire of the neutral king to overreach an enemy or to 
help a friend or to secure the services of the army of another neutral 
king. Having thus strengthened himself, the conqueror should 
reduce his enemies and help his friends, though their position is 
inimical towards him. 

Those who may be inimical to the conqueror are a king who is 
of wicked character and who is therefore always harmful, a 
rear-enemy in combination with a frontal enemy, a reducible 
enemy under troubles, and one who is watching the troubles of the 
conqueror to invade him. 

Those who may be friendly with the conqueror are one who 
marches with him with the same end in view, one who marches 
with him with a different end in view, one who wants to combine 
with the conqueror to march (against a common enemy), one who 
marches under an agreement for peace, one who marches with a set 
purpose of, his own, one who rises along with others, one who is 
ready to purchase or to sell either the army or the treasury, and one 
who adopts the double policy (i.e., making peace with one and 
waging war with another). 

Those neighbouring kings who can be servants to the 
conqueror are a neighbouring king under the apprehension of an 
attack from a powerful king, one who is situated between the 
conqueror and his enemy, the rear-enemy of a powerful king, one 
who has voluntarily surrendered one-self to the conqueror, one 
who has surrendered oneself under fear, and one who has been 
subdued. The same is the case with those kings who are next to the 
territory of the immediate enemies of the conqueror. 

* Of these kings, the conqueror should, as far as possible, help that 
friend who has the same end in view as the conqueror in his 
conflict with the enemy, and thus hold the enemy at bay. 

* When, after having put down the enemy, and after having grown 

442 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



in power, a friend becomes unsubmissive, the conqueror should 
cause the friend to incur the displeasure of a neighbour and of the 
king who is next to the neighbour. 

* Or the conqueror may employ a scion of the friend's family or an 
imprisoned prince to seize his lands; or the conqueror may so act 
that his friend, desirous of further help, may continue to be 
obedient. 

* The conqueror should never help his friend when the latter is 
more and more deteriorating; a politician should so keep his friend 
that the latter neither deteriorates nor grows in power. 

* When,with the desire of getting wealth, a wandering friend (i.e., a 
nomadic king) makes an agreement with the conqueror, the latter 
should so remove the cause of the friend's flight that he never flies 
again. 

* When a friend is as accessible to the conqueror as to the latter's 
enemy, the conqueror should first separate that obstinate friend 
from the enemy, and then destroy him, and afterwards the enemy 
also. 

* When a friend remains neutral, the conqueror should cause him 
to incur the displeasure of his immediate enemies; and when he is 
worried in his wars with them, the conqueror should oblige him 
with help. 

* When, owing to his own weakness, a friend seeks protection both 
from the conqueror and the latter's enemy, the conqueror should 
help him with the army, so that he never turns his attention 
elsewhere. 

* Or having, removed him from his own lands, the conqueror may 
keep him in another tract of land, having made some previous 
arrangements to punish or favour the friend. 

* Or the conqueror may harm him when he has grown powerful, or 
destroy him when he does nut help the conqueror in danger and 
when he lies on the conqueror's lap in good faith. 

* When an enemy furiously rises against his own enemy (i.e., the 
conqueror's friend) under troubles, the former should be put down 



443 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



by the latter himself with troubles concealed. 

* When a friend keeps quiet after rising against an enemy under 
troubles, that friend will be subdued by the enemy himself after 
getting rid of his troubles. 

* Whoever is acquainted with the science of polity should clearly 
observe the conditions of progress, deterioration, stagnation, 
reduction, and destruction, as well as the use of all kinds of 
strategic means. 

* Whoever thus knows the interdependence of the six kinds of 
policy plays at his pleasure with kings, bound round, as it were, in 
chains skillfully devised by himself. 

[Thus ends Chapter XVIII, "The Conduct of a Madhyama King, a 
Neutral King and of a Circle of States," in Book VII, "The End of 
the Six-fold Policy" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
hundred and sixteenth chapter from the beginning. With this ends 
the seventh Book "The End of the Six-fold Policy" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamashastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 327-389. 



Kautilya's Arthasastra: Book VIII, 
"Concerning Vices and Calamities" 

CHAPTER I. THE AGGREGATE OF THE CALAMITIES 
OF THE ELEMENTS OF SOVEREIGNTY. 

WHEN calamities happen together, the form of consideration 

444 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



should be whether it is easier to take an offensive or defensive 
attitude. National calamities, coming from Providence or from man 
happen from one's misfortune or bad policy. The word vyasana 
(vices or calamities), means the reverse or absence of virtue, the 
preponderance of vices, and occasional troubles. That which 
deprives (vyasyati) a person of his happiness is termed vyasana 
(vices or calamities). 

My teacher says that of the calamities, viz., the king in 
distress, the minister in distress, the people in distress, distress due 
to bad fortifications, financial distress, the army in distress, and an 
ally in distress,— that which is first mentioned is more serious than 
the one, coming later in the order of enumeration. 

No, says Bharadvaja, of the distress of the king and of his 
minister, ministerial distress is more serious; deliberations in 
council, the attainment of results as anticipated while deliberating 
in council, the accomplishment of works, the business of 
revenue-collection and its expenditure, recruiting the army, the 
driving out of the enemy and of wild tribes, the protection of the 
kingdom, taking remedial measures against calamities, the 
protection of the heir-apparent, and the installation of princes 
constitute the duties of ministers. In the absence of ministers; the 
above works are ill-done; and like a bird, deprived of its feathers, 
the king loses his active capacity. In such calamities, the intrigues 
of the enemy find a ready scope. In ministerial distress, the king's 
life itself comes into danger, for a minister is the mainstay of the 
security of the king's life. 

No, says Kautilya, it is verily the king who attends to the 
business of appointing ministers, priests, and other servants, 
including the superintendents of several departments, the 
application of remedies against the troubles of his people, and of 
his kingdom, and the adoption of progressive measures; when his 

445 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



ministers fall into troubles, he employs others; he is ever ready to 
bestow rewards on the worthy and inflict punishments on the 
wicked; when the king is well off, by his welfare and prosperity, he 
pleases the people; of what kind the king's character is, of the same 
kind will be the character of his people; for their progress or 
downfall, the people depend upon the king; the king is, as it were, 
the aggregate of the people. 

Visalaksha says that of the troubles of the minister and of the 
people; the troubles of the people are more serious; finance, army, 
raw products, free labour, carriage of things, and collection (of 
necessaries) are all secured from the people. There will be no such 
things in the absence of people, next to the king and his minister. 

No, says Kautilya, all activities proceed from the minister, 
activities such as the successful accomplishment of the works of 
the people, security of person and property from internal and 
external enemies, remedial measures against calamities, 
colonization and improvement of wild tracts of land, recruiting the 
army, collection of revenue, and bestowal of favour. 

The school of Parasara say that of the distress of the people 
and distress due to bad fortifications, the latter is a more serious 
evil; for it is in fortified towns that the treasury and the army are 
secured; they (fortified towns) are a secure place for the people; 
they are a stronger power than the citizens or country people; and 
they are a powerful defensive instrument in times of danger for the 
king. As to the people, they are common both to the king and his 
enemy. 

No, says Kautilya, for forts, finance, and the army depend 
upon the people; likewise buildings, trade, agriculture, 
cattle -rearing, bravery, stability, power, and abundance (of things). 
In countries inhabited by people, there are mountains and islands 

446 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(as natural forts); in the absence of an expansive country, forts are 
resorted to. When a country consists purely of cultivators, troubles 
due to the absence of fortifications (are apparent); while in a 
country which consists purely of warlike people, troubles that may 
appear are due to the absence of (an expansive and cultivated) 
territory. 

Pisuna says that of the troubles due to the absence of forts and 
to want of finance, troubles due to want of finance are more 
serious; the repair of fortifications and their maintenance depend 
upon finance; by means of wealth, intrigue to capture an enemy's 
fort may be carried on; by means of wealth, the people, friends, and 
enemies can be kept under control; by means of it, outsiders can be 
encouraged and the establishment of the army and its operations 
conducted. It is possible to remove the treasure in times of danger, 
but not the fort. 

No, says Kautilya, for it is in the fort that the treasury and the 
army are safely kept, and it is from the fort that secret war 
(intrigue), control over one's partisans, the upkeep of the army, the 
reception of allies and the driving out of enemies and of wild tribes 
are successfully practised. In the absence of forts, the treasury is to 
the enemy, for it seems that for those who own forts, there is no 
destruction. 

Kaunapadanta says that of distress due to want of finance or 
to an inefficient army, that which is due to the want of an efficient 
army is more serious; for control over one's own friends and 
enemies, the winning over the army of an enemy, and the business 
of administration are all dependent upon the army. In the absence 
of the army, it is certain that the treasury will be lost, whereas lack 
of finance can be made up by procuring raw products and lands or 
by seizing an enemy's territory. 

The army may go to the enemy, or murder the king himself, 

447 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



and bring about all kinds of troubles. But finance is the chief means 
of observing virtuous acts and of enjoying desires. Owing to a 
change in place, time, and policy, either finance or the army may 
be a superior power; for the army is (sometimes) the means of 
securing the wealth acquired; but wealth is (always) the means of 
securing both the treasury and the army. Since all activities are 
dependent upon finance, financial troubles are more serious. 

Vatavyadhi says that of the distress of the army and of an ally, 
the distress of an ally is more serious— an ally, though he is not fed 
and is far off, is still serviceable; he drives off not only the 
rear-enemy and the friends of the rear-enemy, but also the frontal 
enemy and wild tribes; he also helps his friend with money, army, 
and lands on occasions of troubles. 

No, says Kautilya, the ally of him who has a powerful army 
keeps the alliance; and even the enemy assumes a friendly attitude; 
when there is a work that can be equally accomplished either by the 
army or by an ally, then preference to the army or to the ally should 
depend on the advantages of securing the appropriate place and 
time for war and the expected profit. In times of sudden expedition 
and on occasions of troubles from an enemy, a wild tribe, or local 
rebels, no friend can be trusted. When calamities happen together, 
or when an enemy has grown strong, a friend keeps up his 
friendship as long as money is forthcoming. Thus the 
determination of the comparative seriousness of the calamities of 
the various elements of sovereignty. 

* When a part of one of the elements of sovereignty is under 
troubles, the extent, affection, and strength of the serviceable part 
can be the means of accomplishing a work. 

* When any two elements of sovereignty are equally under 
troubles, they should be distinguished in respect of their 
progressive or declining tendency, provided that the good 

448 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



condition of the rest of the elements needs no description. 
* When the calamities of a single element tend to destroy the rest of 
the elements, those calamities, whether they be of the fundamental 
or any other element, are verily serious. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "The Aggregate of the Calamities of the 
Elements of Sovereignty," in Book VIII, "Concerning Vices and 
Calamities" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and 
seventeenth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER II. CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE 
TROUBLES OF THE KING AND OF HIS KINGDOM. 

THE king and his kingdom are the primary elements of the 
state. 

The troubles of the king may be either internal or external. 
Internal troubles are more serious than external troubles which are 
like the danger arising from a lurking snake. Troubles due to a 
minister are more serious than other kinds of internal troubles. 
Hence, the king should keep under his own control the powers of 
finance and the army. 

Of divided rule and foreign rule, divided rule or rule of a 
country by two kings, perishes owing to mutual hatred, partiality 
and rivalry. Foreign rule which comes into existence by seizing the 
country from its king still alive, thinks that the country is not its 
own, impoverishes it, and carries off its wealth, or treats it as a 
commercial article; and when the country ceases to love it, it retires 
abandoning the country. 

Which is better, a blind king, or a king erring against the 
science? 

449 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



My teacher says that a blind king, i.e., a king who is not 
possessed of an eye in sciences, is indiscriminate in doing works, 
very obstinate, and is led by others; such a king destroys the 
kingdom by his own maladministration. But an erring king can be 
easily brought round when and where his mind goes astray from 
the procedure laid down in sciences. 

No, says Kautilya, a blind king can be made by his supporters 
to adhere to whatever line of policy he ought to. But an erring king 
who is bent upon doing what is against the science, brings about 
destruction to himself and his kingdom by maladministration. 

Which is better, a diseased or a new king ? 

My teacher says that a diseased king loses his kingdom owing 
to the intrigue of his ministers, or loses his life on account of the 
kingdom; but a new king pleases the people by such popular deeds 
as the observance of his own duties and the act of bestowing 
favours, remissions (of taxes), gifts, and presents upon others. 

No, says Kautilya, a diseased king continues to observe his 
duties as usual. But a new king begins to act as he pleases under the 
impression that the country, acquired by his own might, belongs to 
himself; when pressed by combined kings (for plunder), he 
tolerates their oppression of the country. Or having no firm control 
over the elements of the state, he is easily removed. There is this 
difference among diseased kings: a king who is morally diseased, 
and a king who is suffering from physical disease; there is also this 
difference among new kings: a high-born king and a base-born 
king. 

Which is better, a weak but high-born king, or a strong but 
low-born king? 



450 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



My teacher says that a people, even if interested in having a 
weak king, hardly allow room for the intrigues of a weak but 
high-born person to be their king; but that if they desire power, 
they will easily yield themselves to the intrigues of a strong but 
base-born person to be their king. 

No, says Kautilya, a people will naturally obey a high-born 
king though he is weak, for the tendency of a prosperous people is 
to follow a high-born king. Also they render the intrigues of a 
strong but base-born person, unavailing, as the saying is, that 
possession of virtues makes for friendship. 

The destruction of crops is worse than the destruction of 
handfuls (of grains), since it is the labour that is destroyed thereby; 
absence of rain is worse than too much rain. 

* The comparative seriousness or insignificance of any two 
kinds of troubles affecting the elements of sovereignty, in the order 
of enumeration of the several kinds of distress, is the cause of 
adopting offensive or defensive operations. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Considerations about the Troubles of the 
King and of his Kingdom," in Book VIII, "Concerning Vices and 
Calamities," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred 
and eighteenth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. THE AGGREGATE OF THE TROUBLE OF 
MEN. 

IGNORANCE and absence of discipline are the causes of a 
man's troubles. An untrained man does not perceive the injuries 
arising from vices. We are going to treat of them (vices):— 

451 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Vice's due to anger form a triad; and those due to desire are 
fourfold. Of these two, anger is worse, for anger proceeds against 
all. In a majority of cases, kings given to anger are said to have 
fallen a prey to popular fury. But kings addicted to pleasures have 
perished in consequence of serious diseases brought about by 
deterioration and improverishment. 

No, says Bharadvaja, anger is the characteristic of a 
righteous man. It is the foundation of bravery; it puts an end to 
despicable (persons); and it keeps the people under fear. Anger is 
always a necessary quality for the prevention of sin. But desire 
(accompanies) the enjoyment of results, reconciliation, generosity, 
and the act of endearing oneself to all. Possession of desire is 
always necessary for him who is inclined to enjoy the fruits of what 
he has accomplished. 

No, says Kautilya, anger brings about enmity with, and 
troubles from, an enemy, and is always associated with pain. 
Addiction to pleasure (kdma) occasions contempt and loss of 
wealth, and throws the addicted person into the company of 
thieves, gamblers, hunters, singers, players on musical 
instruments, and other undesirable persons. Of these, enmity is 
more serious than contempt, for a despised person is caught hold of 
by his own people and by his enemies, whereas a hated person is 
destroyed. Troubles from an enemy are more serious than loss of 
wealth, for loss of wealth causes financial troubles, whereas 
troubles from an enemy are injurious to life. Suffering on account 
of vices is more serious than keeping company with undesirable 
persons, for the company of undesirable persons can be got rid of 
in a moment, whereas suffering from vices causes injury for a long 
time. Hence, anger is a more serious evil. 

Which is worse: abuse of language, or of money, or 
oppressive punishment? 

452 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Visalaksha says that of abuse of language and of money, 
abuse of language is worse; for when harshly spoken to, a brave 
man retaliates; and bad language, like a nail piercing the heart, 
excites anger and gives pain to the senses. 

No, says Kautilya, gift of money palliates the fury occasioned 
by abusive language, whereas abuse of money causes the loss of 
livelihood itself. Abuse of money means gifts, exaction, loss or 
abandonment of money. 

The School of Parasara say that of abuse of money and 
oppressive punishment, abuse of money is worse; for good deeds 
and enjoyments depend upon wealth; the world itself is bound by 
wealth. Hence, its abuse is a more serious evil. 

No, says Kautilya, in preference to a large amount of wealth, 
no man desires the loss of his own life. Owing to oppressive 
punishment, one is liable to the same punishment at the hands of 
one's enemies. 

Such is the nature of the triad of evils due to anger. 

The fourfold vices due to desire are hunting, gambling, 
women and drinking. 

Pisuna says that of hunting and gambling, hunting is a worse 
vice; for falling into the hand of robbers, enemies and elephants, 
getting into wild fire, fear, inability to distinguish between the 
cardinal points, hunger, thirst and loss of life are evils consequent 
upon hunting, whereas in gambling, the expert gambler wins a 
victory like Jayatsena and Duryodhana. 

No, says Kautilya, of the two parties, one has to suffer from 
defeat, as is well known from the history of Nala and Yudhishthira; 

453 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the same wealth that is won like a piece of flesh in gambling, 
causes enmity. Lack of recognition of wealth properly acquired, 
acquisition of ill-gotten wealth, loss of wealth without enjoyment, 
staying away from answering the calls of nature, and contracting 
diseases from not taking timely meals, are the evils of gambling, 
whereas in hunting, exercise, the disappearance of phlegm, bile, 
fat, and sweat, the acquisition of skill in aiming at stationary and 
moving bodies, the ascertainment of the appearance of beasts when 
provoked, and occasional march (are its good characteristics). 

Kaunapadanta says that of addiction to gambling and to 
women, gambling is a more serious evil; for gamblers always play, 
even at night by lamp light, and even when the mother (of one of 
the players) is dead; the gambler exhibits anger when spoken to in 
times of trouble; whereas in the case of addiction to women, it is 
possible to hold conversation about virtue and wealth, at the time 
of bathing, dressing and eating. Also it is possible to make, by 
means of secret punishment, a woman to be so good as to secure 
the welfare of the king, or to get rid of her, or drive her out, under 
the plea of disease. 

No, says Kautilya, it is possible to divert the attention from 
gambling, but not so from women. (The evils of the latter are) 
failure to see (what ought to be seen), violation of duty, the evil of 
postponing works that are to be immediately done, incapacity to 
deal with politics, and contracting the evil of drinking. 

Vatavyadhi says that of addiction to women and to drinking, 
addiction to women is a more serious evil: there are various kinds 
of childishness among women, as explained in the chapter on 'The 
Harem,' whereas in drinking, the enjoyment of sound and other 
objects of the senses, pleasing other people, honouring the 
followers, and relaxation from the fatigue of work (are the 
advantages). 

454 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



No, says Kautilya, in the case of addiction to women, the 
consequences are the birth of children, self-protection, change of 
wives in the harem, and absence of such consequences in the case 
of unworthy outside women. Both the above consequences follow 
from drinking. The auspicious effects of drinking are loss of 
money, lunacy in a sensate man, corpselike appearance while 
living, nakedness, the loss of the knowledge of the Vedas, loss of 
life, wealth, and friends, disassociation with the good, suffering 
from pain, and indulgence in playing on musical instruments and in 
singing at the expense of wealth. 

Of gambling and drinking, gambling causes gain or loss of the 
stakes to one party or other. Even among dumb animals, it splits 
them into factions and causes provocation. It is specially due to 
gambling that assemblies and royal confederacies possessing the 
characteristics of assemblies are split into factions, and are 
consequently destroyed. The reception of what is condemned is the 
worst of all evils since it causes incapacity to deal with politics. 

* The reception of what is condemned is (due to) desire; and anger 
consists in oppressing the good; since both these are productive of 
many evils, both of them are held to be the worst evils. 

* Hence be who is possessed of discretion should associate with 
the aged, and, after controlling his passions, abandon both anger 
and desire which are productive of other evils and destructive of 
the very basis (of life). 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "The Aggregate of the Troubles of Men," 
in Book VIII. "Concerning Vices and Calamities" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and nineteenth chapter 
from the beginning.] 



455 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER IV. THE GROUP OF MOLESTATIONS, THE 
GROUP OF OBSTRUCTIONS, AND THE GROUP OF 
FINANCIAL TROUBLES. 

PROVIDENTIAL calamities are fire, floods, pestilence, 
famine, and (the epidemic disease called) maraka. 

My teacher says that of fire and floods, destruction due to fire 
is irremediable; all kinds of troubles, except those due to fire, can 
be alleviated, and troubles due to floods can be passed over. 

No, says Kautilya, fire destroys a village, or part of a village 
whereas floods carry off hundreds of villages. 

My teacher says that of pestilence and famine, pestilence 
brings all kinds of business to a stop by causing obstruction to work 
on account of disease and death among men and owing to the flight 
of servants, whereas famine stops no work, but is productive of 
gold, cattle and taxes. 

No, says Kautilya, pestilence devastates only a part (of the 
country) and can be remedied, whereas famine causes troubles to 
the whole (of the country) and occasions dearth of livelihood to all 
creatures. 

This explains the consequences of maraka. 

My teacher says that of the loss of chief and vulgar men, the 
loss of vulgar men causes obstruction to work. 

No, says Kautilya, it is possible to recruit vulgar men, since 
they form the majority of people; for the sake of vulgar men, 
nobles should not be allowed to perish; one in a thousand may or 
may not be a noble man; he it is who is possessed of excessive 
courage and wisdom and is the refuge of vulgar people. 

456 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



My teacher says that of the troubles arising from one's own or 
one's enemy's Circle of States, those due to one's own Circle are 
doubly injurious and are irremediable, whereas an inimical Circle 
of States can be fought out or kept away by the intervention of an 
ally or by making peace. 

No, says Kautilya, troubles due to one's own Circle can be got 
rid of by arresting or destroying the leaders among the subjective 
people; or they may be injurious to a part of the country, whereas 
troubles due to an enemy's Circle of States cause oppression by 
inflicting loss and destruction and by burning, devastation, and 
plunder. 

My teacher says that of the quarrels among the people and 
among kings, quarrel among the people brings about disunion and 
thereby enables an enemy to invade the country, whereas quarrel 
among kings is productive of double pay and wages and of 
remission of taxes to the people. 

No, says Kautilya, it is possible to end the quarrel among the 
people by arresting the leaders, or by removing the cause of 
quarrel; and people quarrelling among themselves vie with each 
other and thereby help the country, whereas quarrel among kings 
causes trouble and destruction to the people and requires double 
the energy for its settlement. 

My teacher says that of a sportive king and a sportive country, 
a sportive country is always ruinous to the results of work, whereas 
a sportive king is beneficial to artisans, carpenters, musicians, 
buffoons and traders. 

No, says Kautilya, a sportive country, taking to sports for 
relaxation from labour, causes only a trifling loss; and after 
enjoyment, it resumes work, whereas a sportive king causes 

457 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



oppression by showing indulgence to his courtiers, by seizing and 
begging, and by obstructing work in the manufactories. 

My teacher says that of a favourite wife and a prince, the 
prince causes oppression by showing indulgence to his followers, 
by seizing and begging, and by obstructing the work in 
manufactories whereas the favourite wife is addicted to her 
amorous sports. 

No, says Kautilya, it is possible to prevent through the 
minister and the priest, the oppression caused by the prince, but not 
the oppression caused by the favourite wife, since she is usually 
stubborn and keeps company with wicked persons. 

My teacher says that of the troubles due to a corporation of 
people and to a leader (a chief), the corporation of people people 
cannot be put down since it consists of a number of men and causes 
oppression by theft and violence, whereas a leader causes troubles 
by obstruction to, and destruction of, work. 

No, says Kautilya, it is very easy to get rid of (the troubles 
from) a corporation; since it has to rise or fall with the king; or it 
can be put down by arresting its leader or a part of the corporation 
itself, whereas a leader backed up with support causes oppression 
by injuring the life and property of others. 

My teacher says that of the chamberlain and the collector of 
revenue, the chamberlain causes oppression by spoiling works and 
by inflicting fines, whereas the collector of revenue makes use of 
the ascertained revenue in the department over which he presides. 

No, says Kautilya, the chamberlain takes to himself what is 
presented by others to be entered into the treasury whereas the 
collector makes his own revenue first and then the kings'; or he 

458 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



destroys the kings' revenue and proceeds as he pleases to seize the 
property of others. 

My teacher says that of the superintendent of the boundary 
and a trader, the superintendent of the boundary destroys traffic by 
allowing thieves and taking taxes more than he ought to, whereas a 
trader renders the country prosperous by a favourable barter of 
commercial articles. 

No, says Kautilya, the superintendent of the boundary 
increases commercial traffic by welcoming the arrival of 
merchandise, whereas traders unite in causing rise and fall in the 
value of articles, and live by making profits cent per cent in panas 
or kumbhas (measures of grain). 

Which is more desirable, land occupied by a high-born person 
or land reserved for grazing a flock of cattle? 

My teacher says that the land occupied by a high-born person 
is very productive; and it supplies men to the army; hence it does 
not deserve to be confiscated lest the owner might cause troubles, 
whereas the land occupied for grazing a flock of cattle is cultivable 
and deserves therefore to be freed, for cultivable land is preferred 
to pasture land. 

No, says Kautilya, though immensely useful, the land 
occupied by a high-born person deserves to be freed, lest he might 
cause troubles (otherwise), whereas the land held for grazing a 
flock of cattle is productive of money and beasts, and does not 
therefore deserve to be confiscated unless cultivation of crops is 
impeded thereby. 

My teacher says that of robbers and wild tribes, robbers are 
ever bent on carrying off women at night, make assaults on 
persons, and take away hundreds and thousands of panas, whereas 

459 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



wild tribes, living under a leader and moving in the neighbouring 
forests can be seen here and there causing destruction only to a 
part. 

No, says Kautilya, robbers carry off the property of the 
careless and can be put down as they are easily recognized and 
caught hold of, whereas wild tribes have their own strongholds, 
being numerous and brave, ready to fight in broad daylight, and 
seizing and destroying countries like kings. 

Of the forests of beasts and of elephants, beasts are numerous 
and productive of plenty of flesh and skins; they arrest the growth 
of the grass and are easily controlled, whereas elephants are of the 
reverse nature and are seen to be destructive of countries even 
when they are captured and tamed. 

Of benefits derived from one's own or a foreign country, 
benefits derived from one's own country consists of grains, cattle, 
gold, and raw products and are useful for the maintenance of the 
people in calamities, whereas benefits derived from a foreign 
country are of the reverse nature. 

Such is the group of molestations. 

Obstruction to movements caused by a chief is internal 
obstruction; and obstruction to movements caused by an enemy or 
a wild tribe is external obstruction. 

Such is the group of obstructions. 

Financial troubles due to the two kinds of obstruction and to 
the molestations described above are stagnation of financial 
position, loss of wealth due to the allowance of remission of taxes 
in favour of leaders, scattered revenue, false account of revenue 
collected, and revenue left in the custody of a neighbouring king or 

460 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



of a wild tribe. 

Thus the group of financial troubles. 

* In the interests of the prosperity of the country, one should 
attempt to avoid the cause of troubles, remedy them when they 
happen, and avert obstructions and financial troubles. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "The Group of Molestations, the Group of 
Obstructions, and the Group of Financial Troubles" in Book VIII, 
"Concerning Vices and Calamities," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and twentieth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. THE GROUP OF TROUBLES OF THE 
ARMY, AND THE GROUP OF TROUBLES OF A FRIEND. 

The troubles of the army are— That which is disrespected; that 
which is mortified; that which is not paid for; that which is 
diseased; that which has freshly arrived; that which has made a 
long journey; that which is tired; that which has sustained loss; that 
which has been repelled; that of which the front portion is 
destroyed; that which is suffering from inclemency of weather; that 
which has found itself in an unsuitable ground; that which is 
displeased from disappointment; that which has run away; that of 
which the men are fond of their wives; that which contains traitors; 
that of which the prime portion is provoked; that which has 
dissensions; that which has come from a foreign state; that which 
has served in many states; that which is specially trained to a 
particular kind of manoeuvre and encampment; that which is 
trained to a particular movement in a particular place; that which is 

461 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



obstructed; that which is surrounded; that which has its supply of 
grains cut off; that which has its men and stores cut off; that which 
is kept in one's own country; that which is under the protection of 
an ally; that which contains inimical persons; that which is afraid 
of an enemy in the rear; that which has lost its communication; that 
which has lost its commander; that which has lost its leader; and 
that which is blind (i.e., untrained). 

Of the disrespected and the mortified among these, that which 
is disrespected may be taken to fight after being honoured, but not 
that which is suffering from its own mortification. 

Of unpaid and diseased armies, the unpaid may be taken to 
fight after making full payment but not the diseased, which is unfit 
for work. 

Of freshly arrived and long-travelled armies, that which has 
freshly arrived may be taken to fight after it has taken its position 
without mingling with any other new army, but not that which is 
tired from its long journey. 

Of tired and reduced armies, the army that is tired may be 
taken to fight after it has refreshed itself from bathing, eating, and 
sleeping, but not the reduced army, i.e., the army, the leaders of 
which have been killed. 

Of armies which have either been repelled or have their front 
destroyed, that which has been repelled may be taken to fight 
together with fresh men attached to it, but not the army which has 
lost many of its brave men in its frontal attack. 

Of armies, either suffering from inclemency of weather or 
driven to an unsuitable ground, that which is suffering from 
inclemency of weather may be taken to fight after providing it with 
weapons and dress appropriate for the season, but not the army on 

462 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



an unfavourable ground obstructing its movements. 

Of disappointed and renegade armies, that which is 
disappointed may be taken to fight after satisfying it but not the 
army which has (once) run away. 

Of soldiers who are either fond of their wives or are under an 
enemy, those who are fond of their wives may be taken to fight 
after separating them from their wives; but not those who are under 
an enemy, and are, therefore, like internal enemies. 

Of provoked and disunited armies, that, of which a part is 
provoked, may be taken to fight after pacifying it by conciliation 
and other strategic means but not the disunited army, the members 
of which are estranged from each other. 

Of armies which have left service either in one state or in 
many states, that whose resignation of service in a foreign state is 
not due to instigation or conspiracy may be taken to fight under the 
leadership of spies and friends, but not the army which has 
resigned its service in many states and is, therefore, dangerous. 

Of armies which are trained either to a particular kind of 
manoeuvre and encampment or to a particular movement in a 
particular place, that which is taught a special kind of manoeuvre 
and encampment may be taken to fight, but not the army whose 
way of making encampments and marches is only suited for a 
particular place. 

Of obstructed and surrounded armies, that which is 
prevented from its movements in one direction may be taken to 
fight against the obstructor in another direction, but not the army 
whose movements are obstructed on all sides. 



463 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Of troops whose supply of grain is cut off or whose supply of 
men and stores is cut off, that which has lost its supply of grain may 
be taken to fight after providing it with grain brought from another 
quarter or after supplying to it moveable and immoveable 
food-stuffs (animal and vegetable food-stuffs) but not the army to 
which men and provisions cannot be supplied. 

Of armies kept in one's own country or under the protection of 
an ally, that which is kept in one's own country can possibly be 
disbanded in time of danger, but not the army under the protection 
of an ally, as it is far removed in place and time. 

Of armies either filled with traitors, or frightened by an 
enemy in the rear, that which is full of traitors may be taken to fight 
apart under the leadership of a trusted commander, but not the 
army which is afraid of an attack from the rear. 

Of armies without communication or without leaders, that 
which has lost its communication with the base of operations may 
be taken to fight after restoring the communication and placing it 
under the protection of citizens and country people, but not the 
army which is without a leader such as the king or any other 
persons. 

Of troops which have lost their leader or which are not 
trained, those that have lost their leader may be taken to fight under 
the leadership of a different person but not the troops which are not 
trained. 

* Removal of vices and troubles, recruitment (of new men), 
keeping away from places of an enemy's ambush, and harmony 
among the officers of the army, are the means of protecting the 
army from troubles. 

* He (the king) should ever carefully guard his army from the 

464 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



troubles caused by an enemy, and should ever be ready to strike his 
enemy's army when the latter is under troubles; 

* Whatever he may come to know as the source of trouble to his 
people, he should quickly and carefully apply antidotes against that 
cause. 

* A friend who, by himself, or in combination with others or under 
the influence of another king, has marched against his own ally, a 
friend who is abandoned owing to inability to retain his friendship, 
or owing to greediness or indifference; 

* A friend who is bought by another and who has withdrawn 
himself from fighting; 

* A friend who, following the policy of making peace with one 
and marching against another, has contracted friendship with one, 
who is going to march either singly or in combination with others 
against an ally; 

* A friend who is not relieved from his troubles owing to fear, 
contempt, or indifference; a friend who is surrounded in his own 
place or who has run away owing to fear; 

* A friend who is displeased owing to his having to pay much, or 
owing to his not having received his due or owing to his 
dissatisfaction even after the receipt of his due; 

* A friend who has voluntarily paid much or who is made by 
another to pay much (to his ally); a friend who is kept under 
pressure, or who, having broken the bond of friendship, sought 
friendship with another; 

* A friend who is neglected owing to inability to retain his 
friendship; and a friend who has become an enemy in spite of his 
ally's entreaties to the contrary;— such friends are hardly acquired; 
and if acquired at all, they turn away. 

*A friend who has realised the responsibilities of friendship, or 
who is honourable; or whose disappointment is due to want of 
information, or who, though excited, is unequal (to the task), or 
who is made to turn back owing to fear from another; 

* Or who is frightened at the destruction of another friend, or who 



465 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



is apprehensive of danger from the combination of enemies, or 
who is made by traitors to give up his friendship,— it is possible to 
acquire such a friend; and if acquired, he keeps up his friendship. 
* Henceone should not give rise to those causes which are 
destructive of friendship; and when they arise, one should get rid of 
them by adopting such friendly attitude as can remove those 
causes. 

[Thus ends Chapter V, "The Group of Troubles of the Army, and 
the Group of Troubles of a Friend," in Book VIII "Concerning 
Vices and Calamities," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
hundred and twenty-first chapter from the beginning. With this 
ends the eighth Book "Concerning Vices and Calamities" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 391-409. 



466 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book VIII: Concerning Vices and 
Calamities 



CHAPTER I. THE AGGREGATE OF THE CALAMITIES 
OF THE ELEMENTS OF SOVEREIGNTY. 

WHEN calamities happen together, the form of consideration 
should be whether it is easier to take an offensive or defensive 
attitude. National calamities, coming from Providence or from man 
happen from one's misfortune or bad policy. The word vyasana 
(vices or calamities), means the reverse or absence of virtue, the 
preponderance of vices, and occasional troubles. That which 
deprives (vyasyati) a person of his happiness is termed vyasana 
(vices or calamities). 

My teacher says that of the calamities, viz., the king in 
distress, the minister in distress, the people in distress, distress due 
to bad fortifications, financial distress, the army in distress, and an 
ally in distress,— that which is first mentioned is more serious than 
the one, coming later in the order of enumeration. 

No, says Bharadvaja, of the distress of the king and of his 
minister, ministerial distress is more serious; deliberations in 
council, the attainment of results as anticipated while deliberating 
in council, the accomplishment of works, the business of 
revenue-collection and its expenditure, recruiting the army, the 
driving out of the enemy and of wild tribes, the protection of the 
kingdom, taking remedial measures against calamities, the 
protection of the heir-apparent, and the installation of princes 
constitute the duties of ministers. In the absence of ministers; the 
above works are ill-done; and like a bird, deprived of its feathers, 

467 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the king loses his active capacity. In such calamities, the intrigues 
of the enemy find a ready scope. In ministerial distress, the king's 
life itself comes into danger, for a minister is the mainstay of the 
security of the king's life. 

No, says Kautilya, it is verily the king who attends to the 
business of appointing ministers, priests, and other servants, 
including the superintendents of several departments, the 
application of remedies against the troubles of his people, and of 
his kingdom, and the adoption of progressive measures; when his 
ministers fall into troubles, he employs others; he is ever ready to 
bestow rewards on the worthy and inflict punishments on the 
wicked; when the king is well off, by his welfare and prosperity, he 
pleases the people; of what kind the king's character is, of the same 
kind will be the character of his people; for their progress or 
downfall, the people depend upon the king; the king is, as it were, 
the aggregate of the people. 

Visalaksha says that of the troubles of the minister and of the 
people; the troubles of the people are more serious; finance, army, 
raw products, free labour, carriage of things, and collection (of 
necessaries) are all secured from the people. There will be no such 
things in the absence of people, next to the king and his minister. 

No, says Kautilya, all activities proceed from the minister, 
activities such as the successful accomplishment of the works of 
the people, security of person and property from internal and 
external enemies, remedial measures against calamities, 
colonization and improvement of wild tracts of land, recruiting the 
army, collection of revenue, and bestowal of favour. 

The school of Parasara say that of the distress of the people 
and distress due to bad fortifications, the latter is a more serious 
evil; for it is in fortified towns that the treasury and the army are 

468 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



secured; they (fortified towns) are a secure place for the people; 
they are a stronger power than the citizens or country people; and 
they are a powerful defensive instrument in times of danger for the 
king. As to the people, they are common both to the king and his 
enemy. 

No, says Kautilya, for forts, finance, and the army depend 
upon the people; likewise buildings, trade, agriculture, 
cattle -rearing, bravery, stability, power, and abundance (of things). 
In countries inhabited by people, there are mountains and islands 
(as natural forts); in the absence of an expansive country, forts are 
resorted to. When a country consists purely of cultivators, troubles 
due to the absence of fortifications (are apparent); while in a 
country which consists purely of warlike people, troubles that may 
appear are due to the absence of (an expansive and cultivated) 
territory. 

Pisuna says that of the troubles due to the absence of forts and 
to want of finance, troubles due to want of finance are more 
serious; the repair of fortifications and their maintenance depend 
upon finance; by means of wealth, intrigue to capture an enemy's 
fort may be carried on; by means of wealth, the people, friends, and 
enemies can be kept under control; by means of it, outsiders can be 
encouraged and the establishment of the army and its operations 
conducted. It is possible to remove the treasure in times of danger, 
but not the fort. 

No, says Kautilya, for it is in the fort that the treasury and the 
army are safely kept, and it is from the fort that secret war 
(intrigue), control over one's partisans, the upkeep of the army, the 
reception of allies and the driving out of enemies and of wild tribes 
are successfully practised. In the absence of forts, the treasury is to 
the enemy, for it seems that for those who own forts, there is no 
destruction. 

469 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Kaunapadanta says that of distress due to want of finance or 
to an inefficient army, that which is due to the want of an efficient 
army is more serious; for control over one's own friends and 
enemies, the winning over the army of an enemy, and the business 
of administration are all dependent upon the army. In the absence 
of the army, it is certain that the treasury will be lost, whereas lack 
of finance can be made up by procuring raw products and lands or 
by seizing an enemy's territory. 

The army may go to the enemy, or murder the king himself, 
and bring about all kinds of troubles. But finance is the chief means 
of observing virtuous acts and of enjoying desires. Owing to a 
change in place, time, and policy, either finance or the army may 
be a superior power; for the army is (sometimes) the means of 
securing the wealth acquired; but wealth is (always) the means of 
securing both the treasury and the army. Since all activities are 
dependent upon finance, financial troubles are more serious. 

Vatavyadhi says that of the distress of the army and of an ally, 
the distress of an ally is more serious— an ally, though he is not fed 
and is far off, is still serviceable; he drives off not only the 
rear-enemy and the friends of the rear-enemy, but also the frontal 
enemy and wild tribes; he also helps his friend with money, army, 
and lands on occasions of troubles. 

No, says Kautilya, the ally of him who has a powerful army 
keeps the alliance; and even the enemy assumes a friendly attitude; 
when there is a work that can be equally accomplished either by the 
army or by an ally, then preference to the army or to the ally should 
depend on the advantages of securing the appropriate place and 
time for war and the expected profit. In times of sudden expedition 
and on occasions of troubles from an enemy, a wild tribe, or local 
rebels, no friend can be trusted. When calamities happen together, 
or when an enemy has grown strong, a friend keeps up his 

470 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



friendship as long as money is forthcoming. Thus the 
determination of the comparative seriousness of the calamities of 
the various elements of sovereignty. 

* When a part of one of the elements of sovereignty is under 
troubles, the extent, affection, and strength of the serviceable part 
can be the means of accomplishing a work. 

* When any two elements of sovereignty are equally under 
troubles, they should be distinguished in respect of their 
progressive or declining tendency, provided that the good 
condition of the rest of the elements needs no description. 

* When the calamities of a single element tend to destroy the 
rest of the elements, those calamities, whether they be of the 
fundamental or any other element, are verily serious. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "The Aggregate of the Calamities of the 
Elements of Sovereignty," in Book VIII, "Concerning Vices and 
Calamities" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and 
seventeenth chapter from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER II. CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE 
TROUBLES OF THE KING AND OF HIS KINGDOM. 

THE king and his kingdom are the primary elements of the 
state. 

The troubles of the king may be either internal or external. 
Internal troubles are more serious than external troubles which are 
like the danger arising from a lurking snake. Troubles due to a 
minister are more serious than other kinds of internal troubles. 
Hence, the king should keep under his own control the powers of 
finance and the army. 

471 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Of divided rule and foreign rule, divided rule or rule of a 
country by two kings, perishes owing to mutual hatred, partiality 
and rivalry. Foreign rule which comes into existence by seizing the 
country from its king still alive, thinks that the country is not its 
own, impoverishes it, and carries off its wealth, or treats it as a 
commercial article; and when the country ceases to love it, it retires 
abandoning the country. 

Which is better, a blind king, or a king erring against the 
science? 

My teacher says that a blind king, i.e., a king who is not 
possessed of an eye in sciences, is indiscriminate in doing works, 
very obstinate, and is led by others; such a king destroys the 
kingdom by his own maladministration. But an erring king can be 
easily brought round when and where his mind goes astray from 
the procedure laid down in sciences. 

No, says Kautilya, a blind king can be made by his supporters 
to adhere to whatever line of policy he ought to. But an erring king 
who is bent upon doing what is against the science, brings about 
destruction to himself and his kingdom by maladministration. 

Which is better, a diseased or a new king ? 

My teacher says that a diseased king loses his kingdom owing 
to the intrigue of his ministers, or loses his life on account of the 
kingdom; but a new king pleases the people by such popular deeds 
as the observance of his own duties and the act of bestowing 
favours, remissions (of taxes), gifts, and presents upon others. 

No, says Kautilya, a diseased king continues to observe his 
duties as usual. But a new king begins to act as he pleases under the 
impression that the country, acquired by his own might, belongs to 

472 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



himself; when pressed by combined kings (for plunder), he 
tolerates their oppression of the country. Or having no firm control 
over the elements of the state, he is easily removed. There is this 
difference among diseased kings: a king who is morally diseased, 
and a king who is suffering from physical disease; there is also this 
difference among new kings: a high-born king and a base-born 
king. 

Which is better, a weak but high-born king, or a strong but 
low-born king? 

My teacher says that a people, even if interested in having a 
weak king, hardly allow room for the intrigues of a weak but 
high-born person to be their king; but that if they desire power, 
they will easily yield themselves to the intrigues of a strong but 
base-born person to be their king. 

No, says Kautilya, a people will naturally obey a high-born 
king though he is weak, for the tendency of a prosperous people is 
to follow a high-born king. Also they render the intrigues of a 
strong but base-born person, unavailing, as the saying is, that 
possession of virtues makes for friendship. 

The destruction of crops is worse than the destruction of 
handfuls (of grains), since it is the labour that is destroyed thereby; 
absence of rain is worse than too much rain. 

* The comparative seriousness or insignificance of any two 
kinds of troubles affecting the elements of sovereignty, in the order 
of enumeration of the several kinds of distress, is the cause of 
adopting offensive or defensive operations. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Considerations about the Troubles of the 
King and of his Kingdom," in Book VIII, "Concerning Vices and 

473 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Calamities," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred 
and eighteenth chapter from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER III. THE AGGREGATE OF THE TROUBLE 

OF MEN. 

IGNORANCE and absence of discipline are the causes of a 
man's troubles. An untrained man does not perceive the injuries 
arising from vices. We are going to treat of them (vices):— 

Vice's due to anger form a triad; and those due to desire are 
fourfold. Of these two, anger is worse, for anger proceeds against 
all. In a majority of cases, kings given to anger are said to have 
fallen a prey to popular fury. But kings addicted to pleasures have 
perished in consequence of serious diseases brought about by 
deterioration and improverishment. 

No, says Bharadvaja, anger is the characteristic of a righteous 
man. It is the foundation of bravery; it puts an end to despicable 
(persons); and it keeps the people under fear. Anger is always a 
necessary quality for the prevention of sin. But desire 
(accompanies) the enjoyment of results, reconciliation, generosity, 
and the act of endearing oneself to all. Possession of desire is 
always necessary for him who is inclined to enjoy the fruits of what 
he has accomplished. 

No, says Kautilya, anger brings about enmity with, and 
troubles from, an enemy, and is always associated with pain. 
Addiction to pleasure (kdma) occasions contempt and loss of 
wealth, and throws the addicted person into the company of 
thieves, gamblers, hunters, singers, players on musical 
instruments, and other undesirable persons. Of these, enmity is 
more serious than contempt, for a despised person is caught hold of 
by his own people and by his enemies, whereas a hated person is 

474 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



destroyed. Troubles from an enemy are more serious than loss of 
wealth, for loss of wealth causes financial troubles, whereas 
troubles from an enemy are injurious to life. Suffering on account 
of vices is more serious than keeping company with undesirable 
persons, for the company of undesirable persons can be got rid of 
in a moment, whereas suffering from vices causes injury for a long 
time. Hence, anger is a more serious evil. 

Which is worse: abuse of language, or of money, or 
oppressive punishment? 

Visalaksha says that of abuse of language and of money, 
abuse of language is worse; for when harshly spoken to, a brave 
man retaliates; and bad language, like a nail piercing the heart, 
excites anger and gives pain to the senses. 

No, says Kautilya, gift of money palliates the fury occasioned 
by abusive language, whereas abuse of money causes the loss of 
livelihood itself. Abuse of money means gifts, exaction, loss or 
abandonment of money. 

The School of Parasara say that of abuse of money and 
oppressive punishment, abuse of money is worse; for good deeds 
and enjoyments depend upon wealth; the world itself is bound by 
wealth. Hence, its abuse is a more serious evil. 

No, says Kautilya, in preference to a large amount of wealth, 
no man desires the loss of his own life. Owing to oppressive 
punishment, one is liable to the same punishment at the hands of 
one's enemies. 

Such is the nature of the triad of evils due to anger. 



475 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The fourfold vices due to desire are hunting, gambling, 
women and drinking. 

Pisuna says that of hunting and gambling, hunting is a worse 
vice; for falling into the hand of robbers, enemies and elephants, 
getting into wild fire, fear, inability to distinguish between the 
cardinal points, hunger, thirst and loss of life are evils consequent 
upon hunting, whereas in gambling, the expert gambler wins a 
victory like Jayatsena and Duryodhana. 

No, says Kautilya, of the two parties, one has to suffer from 
defeat, as is well known from the history of Nala and Yudhishthira; 
the same wealth that is won like a piece of flesh in gambling, 
causes enmity. Lack of recognition of wealth properly acquired, 
acquisition of ill-gotten wealth, loss of wealth without enjoyment, 
staying away from answering the calls of nature, and contracting 
diseases from not taking timely meals, are the evils of gambling, 
whereas in hunting, exercise, the disappearance of phlegm, bile, 
fat, and sweat, the acquisition of skill in aiming at stationary and 
moving bodies, the ascertainment of the appearance of beasts when 
provoked, and occasional march (are its good characteristics). 

Kaunapadanta says that of addiction to gambling and to 
women, gambling is a more serious evil; for gamblers always play, 
even at night by lamp light, and even when the mother (of one of 
the players) is dead; the gambler exhibits anger when spoken to in 
times of trouble; whereas in the case of addiction to women, it is 
possible to hold conversation about virtue and wealth, at the time 
of bathing, dressing and eating. Also it is possible to make, by 
means of secret punishment, a woman to be so good as to secure 
the welfare of the king, or to get rid of her, or drive her out, under 
the plea of disease. 



476 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



No, says Kautilya, it is possible to divert the attention from 
gambling, but not so from women. (The evils of the latter are) 
failure to see (what ought to be seen), violation of duty, the evil of 
postponing works that are to be immediately done, incapacity to 
deal with politics, and contracting the evil of drinking. 

Vatavyadhi says that of addiction to women and to drinking, 
addiction to women is a more serious evil: there are various kinds 
of childishness among women, as explained in the chapter on 'The 
Harem,' whereas in drinking, the enjoyment of sound and other 
objects of the senses, pleasing other people, honouring the 
followers, and relaxation from the fatigue of work (are the 
advantages). 

No, says Kautilya, in the case of addiction to women, the 
consequences are the birth of children, self-protection, change of 
wives in the harem, and absence of such consequences in the case 
of unworthy outside women. Both the above consequences follow 
from drinking. The auspicious effects of drinking are loss of 
money, lunacy in a sensate man, corpselike appearance while 
living, nakedness, the loss of the knowledge of the Vedas, loss of 
life, wealth, and friends, disassociation with the good, suffering 
from pain, and indulgence in playing on musical instruments and in 
singing at the expense of wealth. 

Of gambling and drinking, gambling causes gain or loss of 
the stakes to one party or other. Even among dumb animals, it splits 
them into factions and causes provocation. It is specially due to 
gambling that assemblies and royal confederacies possessing the 
characteristics of assemblies are split into factions, and are 
consequently destroyed. The reception of what is condemned is the 
worst of all evils since it causes incapacity to deal with politics. 



477 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* The reception of what is condemned is (due to) desire; and 
anger consists in oppressing the good; since both these are 
productive of many evils, both of them are held to be the worst 
evils. 

* Hence be who is possessed of discretion should associate 
with the aged, and, after controlling his passions, abandon both 
anger and desire which are productive of other evils and 
destructive of the very basis (of life). 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "The Aggregate of the Troubles of Men," 
in Book VIII. "Concerning Vices and Calamities" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and nineteenth chapter 
from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER IV. THE GROUP OF MOLESTATIONS, THE 

GROUP OF OBSTRUCTIONS, AND THE GROUP OF 

FINANCIAL TROUBLES. 

PROVIDENTIAL calamities are fire, floods, pestilence, 
famine, and (the epidemic disease called) maraka. 

My teacher says that of fire and floods, destruction due to fire 
is irremediable; all kinds of troubles, except those due to fire, can 
be alleviated, and troubles due to floods can be passed over. 

No, says Kautilya, fire destroys a village, or part of a village 
whereas floods carry off hundreds of villages. 

My teacher says that of pestilence and famine, pestilence 
brings all kinds of business to a stop by causing obstruction to work 
on account of disease and death among men and owing to the flight 
of servants, whereas famine stops no work, but is productive of 
gold, cattle and taxes. 

478 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



No, says Kautilya, pestilence devastates only a part (of the 
country) and can be remedied, whereas famine causes troubles to 
the whole (of the country) and occasions dearth of livelihood to all 
creatures. 

This explains the consequences of maraka. 

My teacher says that of the loss of chief and vulgar men, the 
loss of vulgar men causes obstruction to work. 

No, says Kautilya, it is possible to recruit vulgar men, since 
they form the majority of people; for the sake of vulgar men, 
nobles should not be allowed to perish; one in a thousand may or 
may not be a noble man; he it is who is possessed of excessive 
courage and wisdom and is the refuge of vulgar people. 

My teacher says that of the troubles arising from one's own or 
one's enemy's Circle of States, those due to one's own Circle are 
doubly injurious and are irremediable, whereas an inimical Circle 
of States can be fought out or kept away by the intervention of an 
ally or by making peace. 

No, says Kautilya, troubles due to one's own Circle can be got 
rid of by arresting or destroying the leaders among the subjective 
people; or they may be injurious to a part of the country, whereas 
troubles due to an enemy's Circle of States cause oppression by 
inflicting loss and destruction and by burning, devastation, and 
plunder. 

My teacher says that of the quarrels among the people and 
among kings, quarrel among the people brings about disunion and 
thereby enables an enemy to invade the country, whereas quarrel 
among kings is productive of double pay and wages and of 
remission of taxes to the people. 

479 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



No, says Kautilya, it is possible to end the quarrel among the 
people by arresting the leaders, or by removing the cause of 
quarrel; and people quarrelling among themselves vie with each 
other and thereby help the country, whereas quarrel among kings 
causes trouble and destruction to the people and requires double 
the energy for its settlement. 

My teacher says that of a sportive king and a sportive country, 
a sportive country is always ruinous to the results of work, whereas 
a sportive king is beneficial to artisans, carpenters, musicians, 
buffoons and traders. 

No, says Kautilya, a sportive country, taking to sports for 
relaxation from labour, causes only a trifling loss; and after 
enjoyment, it resumes work, whereas a sportive king causes 
oppression by showing indulgence to his courtiers, by seizing and 
begging, and by obstructing work in the manufactories. 

My teacher says that of a favourite wife and a prince, the 
prince causes oppression by showing indulgence to his followers, 
by seizing and begging, and by obstructing the work in 
manufactories whereas the favourite wife is addicted to her 
amorous sports. 

No, says Kautilya, it is possible to prevent through the 
minister and the priest, the oppression caused by the prince, but not 
the oppression caused by the favourite wife, since she is usually 
stubborn and keeps company with wicked persons. 

My teacher says that of the troubles due to a corporation of 
people and to a leader (a chief), the corporation of people people 
cannot be put down since it consists of a number of men and causes 
oppression by theft and violence, whereas a leader causes troubles 
by obstruction to, and destruction of, work. 

480 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



No, says Kautilya, it is very easy to get rid of (the troubles 
from) a corporation; since it has to rise or fall with the king; or it 
can be put down by arresting its leader or a part of the corporation 
itself, whereas a leader backed up with support causes oppression 
by injuring the life and property of others. 

My teacher says that of the chamberlain and the collector of 
revenue, the chamberlain causes oppression by spoiling works and 
by inflicting fines, whereas the collector of revenue makes use of 
the ascertained revenue in the department over which he presides. 

No, says Kautilya, the chamberlain takes to himself what is 
presented by others to be entered into the treasury whereas the 
collector makes his own revenue first and then the kings'; or he 
destroys the kings' revenue and proceeds as he pleases to seize the 
property of others. 

My teacher says that of the superintendent of the boundary 
and a trader, the superintendent of the boundary destroys traffic by 
allowing thieves and taking taxes more than he ought to, whereas a 
trader renders the country prosperous by a favourable barter of 
commercial articles. 

No, says Kautilya, the superintendent of the boundary 
increases commercial traffic by welcoming the arrival of 
merchandise, whereas traders unite in causing rise and fall in the 
value of articles, and live by making profits cent per cent in panas 
or kumbhas (measures of grain). 

Which is more desirable, land occupied by a high-born 
person or land reserved for grazing a flock of cattle? 

My teacher says that the land occupied by a high-born person 
is very productive; and it supplies men to the army; hence it does 

481 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



not deserve to be confiscated lest the owner might cause troubles, 
whereas the land occupied for grazing a flock of cattle is cultivable 
and deserves therefore to be freed, for cultivable land is preferred 
to pasture land. 

No, says Kautilya, though immensely useful, the land 
occupied by a high-born person deserves to be freed, lest he might 
cause troubles (otherwise), whereas the land held for grazing a 
flock of cattle is productive of money and beasts, and does not 
therefore deserve to be confiscated unless cultivation of crops is 
impeded thereby. 

My teacher says that of robbers and wild tribes, robbers are 
ever bent on carrying off women at night, make assaults on 
persons, and take away hundreds and thousands of panas, whereas 
wild tribes, living under a leader and moving in the neighbouring 
forests can be seen here and there causing destruction only to a 
part. 

No, says Kautilya, robbers carry off the property of the 
careless and can be put down as they are easily recognized and 
caught hold of, whereas wild tribes have their own strongholds, 
being numerous and brave, ready to fight in broad daylight, and 
seizing and destroying countries like kings. 

Of the forests of beasts and of elephants, beasts are numerous 
and productive of plenty of flesh and skins; they arrest the growth 
of the grass and are easily controlled, whereas elephants are of the 
reverse nature and are seen to be destructive of countries even 
when they are captured and tamed. 

Of benefits derived from one's own or a foreign country, 
benefits derived from one's own country consists of grains, cattle, 
gold, and raw products and are useful for the maintenance of the 

482 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



people in calamities, whereas benefits derived from a foreign 
country are of the reverse nature. 

Such is the group of molestations. 

Obstruction to movements caused by a chief is internal 
obstruction; and obstruction to movements caused by an enemy or 
a wild tribe is external obstruction. 

Such is the group of obstructions. 

Financial troubles due to the two kinds of obstruction and to 
the molestations described above are stagnation of financial 
position, loss of wealth due to the allowance of remission of taxes 
in favour of leaders, scattered revenue, false account of revenue 
collected, and revenue left in the custody of a neighbouring king or 
of a wild tribe. 

Thus the group of financial troubles. 

* In the interests of the prosperity of the country, one should 
attempt to avoid the cause of troubles, remedy them when they 
happen, and avert obstructions and financial troubles. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "The Group of Molestations, the Group of 
Obstructions, and the Group of Financial Troubles" in Book VIII, 
"Concerning Vices and Calamities," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and twentieth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



483 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER V. THE GROUP OF TROUBLES OF THE 
ARMY, AND THE GROUP OF TROUBLES OF A FRIEND. 

The troubles of the army are— That which is disrespected; that 
which is mortified; that which is not paid for; that which is 
diseased; that which has freshly arrived; that which has made a 
long journey; that which is tired; that which has sustained loss; that 
which has been repelled; that of which the front portion is 
destroyed; that which is suffering from inclemency of weather; that 
which has found itself in an unsuitable ground; that which is 
displeased from disappointment; that which has run away; that of 
which the men are fond of their wives; that which contains traitors; 
that of which the prime portion is provoked; that which has 
dissensions; that which has come from a foreign state; that which 
has served in many states; that which is specially trained to a 
particular kind of manoeuvre and encampment; that which is 
trained to a particular movement in a particular place; that which is 
obstructed; that which is surrounded; that which has its supply of 
grains cut off; that which has its men and stores cut off; that which 
is kept in one's own country; that which is under the protection of 
an ally; that which contains inimical persons; that which is afraid 
of an enemy in the rear; that which has lost its communication; that 
which has lost its commander; that which has lost its leader; and 
that which is blind (i.e., untrained). 

Of the disrespected and the mortified among these, that 
which is disrespected may be taken to fight after being honoured, 
but not that which is suffering from its own mortification. 

Of unpaid and diseased armies, the unpaid may be taken to 
fight after making full payment but not the diseased, which is unfit 
for work. 



484 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Of freshly arrived and long-travelled armies, that which has 
freshly arrived may be taken to fight after it has taken its position 
without mingling with any other new army, but not that which is 
tired from its long journey. 

Of tired and reduced armies, the army that is tired may be 
taken to fight after it has refreshed itself from bathing, eating, and 
sleeping, but not the reduced army, i.e., the army, the leaders of 
which have been killed. 

Of armies which have either been repelled or have their front 
destroyed, that which has been repelled may be taken to fight 
together with fresh men attached to it, but not the army which has 
lost many of its brave men in its frontal attack. 

Of armies, either suffering from inclemency of weather or 
driven to an unsuitable ground, that which is suffering from 
inclemency of weather may be taken to fight after providing it with 
weapons and dress appropriate for the season, but not the army on 
an unfavourable ground obstructing its movements. 

Of disappointed and renegade armies, that which is 
disappointed may be taken to fight after satisfying it but not the 
army which has (once) run away. 

Of soldiers who are either fond of their wives or are under an 
enemy, those who are fond of their wives may be taken to fight 
after separating them from their wives; but not those who are under 
an enemy, and are, therefore, like internal enemies. 

Of provoked and disunited armies, that, of which a part is 
provoked, may be taken to fight after pacifying it by conciliation 
and other strategic means but not the disunited army, the members 
of which are estranged from each other. 

485 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Of armies which have left service either in one state or in 
many states, that whose resignation of service in a foreign state is 
not due to instigation or conspiracy may be taken to fight under the 
leadership of spies and friends, but not the army which has 
resigned its service in many states and is, therefore, dangerous. 

Of armies which are trained either to a particular kind of 
manoeuvre and encampment or to a particular movement in a 
particular place, that which is taught a special kind of manoeuvre 
and encampment may be taken to fight, but not the army whose 
way of making encampments and marches is only suited for a 
particular place. 

Of obstructed and surrounded armies, that which is prevented 
from its movements in one direction may be taken to fight against 
the obstructor in another direction, but not the army whose 
movements are obstructed on all sides. 

Of troops whose supply of grain is cut off or whose supply of 
men and stores is cut off, that which has lost its supply of grain may 
be taken to fight after providing it with grain brought from another 
quarter or after supplying to it moveable and immoveable 
food-stuffs (animal and vegetable food-stuffs) but not the army to 
which men and provisions cannot be supplied. 

Of armies kept in one's own country or under the protection 
of an ally, that which is kept in one's own country can possibly be 
disbanded in time of danger, but not the army under the protection 
of an ally, as it is far removed in place and time. 

Of armies either filled with traitors, or frightened by an 
enemy in the rear, that which is full of traitors may be taken to fight 
apart under the leadership of a trusted commander, but not the 
army which is afraid of an attack from the rear. 

486 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Of armies without communication or without leaders, that 
which has lost its communication with the base of operations may 
be taken to fight after restoring the communication and placing it 
under the protection of citizens and country people, but not the 
army which is without a leader such as the king or any other 
persons. 

Of troops which have lost their leader or which are not 
trained, those that have lost their leader may be taken to fight under 
the leadership of a different person but not the troops which are not 
trained. 

* Removal of vices and troubles, recruitment (of new men), 
keeping away from places of an enemy's ambush, and harmony 
among the officers of the army, are the means of protecting the 
army from troubles. 

* He (the king) should ever carefully guard his army from the 
troubles caused by an enemy, and should ever be ready to strike his 
enemy's army when the latter is under troubles; 

* Whatever he may come to know as the source of trouble to 
his people, he should quickly and carefully apply antidotes against 
that cause. 

* A friend who, by himself, or in combination with others or 
under the influence of another king, has marched against his own 
ally, a friend who is abandoned owing to inability to retain his 
friendship, or owing to greediness or indifference; 

* A friend who is bought by another and who has withdrawn 
himself from fighting; 



487 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* A friend who, following the policy of making peace with 
one and marching against another, has contracted friendship with 
one, who is going to march either singly or in combination with 
others against an ally; 

* A friend who is not relieved from his troubles owing to 
fear, contempt, or indifference; a friend who is surrounded in his 
own place or who has run away owing to fear; 

* A friend who is displeased owing to his having to pay 
much, or owing to his not having received his due or owing to his 
dissatisfaction even after the receipt of his due; 

* A friend who has voluntarily paid much or who is made by 
another to pay much (to his ally); a friend who is kept under 
pressure, or who, having broken the bond of friendship, sought 
friendship with another; 

* A friend who is neglected owing to inability to retain his 
friendship; and a friend who has become an enemy in spite of his 
ally's entreaties to the contrary;— such friends are hardly acquired; 
and if acquired at all, they turn away. 

*A friend who has realised the responsibilities of friendship, 
or who is honourable; or whose disappointment is due to want of 
information, or who, though excited, is unequal (to the task), or 
who is made to turn back owing to fear from another; 

* Or who is frightened at the destruction of another friend, or 
who is apprehensive of danger from the combination of enemies, 
or who is made by traitors to give up his friendship,— it is possible 
to acquire such a friend; and if acquired, he keeps up his friendship. 



488 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* Hence one should not give rise to those causes which are 
destructive of friendship; and when they arise, one should get rid of 
them by adopting such friendly attitude as can remove those 
causes. 

[Thus ends Chapter V, "The Group of Troubles of the Army, and 
the Group of Troubles of a Friend," in Book VIII "Concerning 
Vices and Calamities," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
hundred and twenty-first chapter from the beginning. With this 
ends the eighth Book "Concerning Vices and Calamities" of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



489 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book IX, "The Work of an Invader" 



CHAPTER I. THE KNOWLEDGE OF POWER, PLACE, 
TIME, STRENGTH, AND WEAKNESS; THE TIME OF 

INVASION. 

THE conqueror should know the comparative strength and 
weakness of himself and of his enemy; and having ascertained the 
power, place, time, the time of marching and of recruiting the 
army, the consequences, the loss of men and money, and profits 
and danger, he should march with his full force; otherwise, he 
should keep quiet. 

My teacher says that of enthusiasm and power, enthusiasm is 
better: a king, himself energetic, brave, strong, free from disease, 
skilful in wielding weapons, is able with his army as a secondary 
power to subdue a powerful king; his army, though small, will, 
when led by him, be, capable of turning out any work. But a king 
who has no enthusiasm in himself, will perish though possessed of 
a strong army. 

No, says Kautilya, he who is possessed of power overreaches, 
by the sheer force of his power, another who is merely enthusiastic. 
Having acquired, captured, or bought another enthusiastic king as 
well as brave soldiers, he can make his enthusiastic army of horses, 
elephants, chariots, and others to move anywhere without 
obstruction. Powerful kings, whether women, young men, lame or 
blind, conquered the earth by winning over or purchasing the aid of 
enthusiastic persons. 

My teacher says that of power (money and army) and skill in 
intrigue, power is better; for a king, though possessed of skill for 

490 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



intrigue (mantrasakti) becomes a man of barren mind if he has no 
power; for the work of intrigue is well defined. He who has no 
power loses his kingdom as sprouts of seeds in drought vomit their 
sap. 

No, says Kautilya, skill for intrigue is better; he who has the 
eye of knowledge and is acquainted with the science of polity can 
with little effort make use of his skill for intrigue and can succeed 
by means of conciliation and other strategic means and by spies 
and chemical appliances in over-reaching even those kings who are 
possessed of enthusiasm and power. Thus of the three 
acquirements, viz., enthusiasm, power and skill for intrigue, he 
who posesses more of the quality mentioned later than the one 
mentioned first in the order of enumeration will be successful in 
over- reaching others. 

Country (space) means the earth; in it the thousand yojanas of 
the northern portion of the country that stretches between the 
Himalayas and the ocean form the dominion of no insignificant 
emperor; in it there are such varieties of land, as forests, villages, 
waterfalls, level plains, and uneven grounds. In such lands, he 
should undertake such works as he considers to be conducive to his 
power and prosperity. That part of the country, in which his army 
finds a convenient place for its manoeuvre and which proves 
unfavourable to his enemy, is the best; that part of the country 
which is of the reverse nature, is the worst; and that which partakes 
of both the characteristics, is a country of middling quality. 

Time consists of cold, hot, and rainy periods. The divisions of 
time are: the night, the day, the fortnight, the month, the season, 
solstices, the year, and the Yuga (cycle of five years). In these 
divisions of time he should undertake such works as are conducive 
to the growth of his power and prosperity. That time which is 
congenial for the manoeuvre of his Army, but which is of the 

491 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



reverse nature for his enemy is the best; that which is of the reverse 
nature is the worst; and that which possesses both the 
characteristics is of middling quality. 

My teacher says that of strength, place, and time, strength is 
the best; for a man who is possessed of strength can overcome the 
difficulties due either to the unevenness of the ground or to the 
cold, hot, or rainy periods of time. Some say that place is the best 
for the reason that a dog, seated in a convenient place, can drag a 
crocodile and that a crocodile in low ground can drag a dog. 

Others say that time is the best for the reason that during the 
day-time the crow kills the owl, and that at night the owl the crow. 

No, says Kautilya, of strength, place, and time, each is helpful 
to the other; whoever is possessed of these three things should, 
after having placed one-third or one fourth of his army to protect 
his base of operations against his rear-enemy and wild tribes in his 
vicinity and after having taken with him as much army and treasure 
as is sufficient to accomplish his work, march during the month of 
Mdrgdsirsha (December) against his enemy whose collection of 
food-stuffs is old and insipid and who has not only not gathered 
fresh food-stuffs, but also not repaired his fortifications, in order to 
destroy the enemy's rainy crops and autumnal handfuls (mushti). 
He should march during the month of Chaitra (March), if he means 
to destroy the enemy's autumnal crops and vernal handfuls. He 
should march during the month of Jyestha (May-June) against one 
whose storage of fodder, firewood and water has diminished and 
who has not repaired his fortifications, if he means to destroy the 
enemy's vernal crops and handfuls of the rainy season. Or he may 
march during the dewy season against a country which is of hot 
climate and in which fodder and water are obtained in little 
quantities. Or he may march during the summer against a country 
in which the sun is enshrouded by mist and which is full of deep 

492 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



valleys and thickets of trees and grass, or he may march during the 
rains against a country which is suitable for the manoeuvre of his 
own army and which is of the reverse nature for his enemy's army. 
He has to undertake a long march between the months of 
Mdrgasirsha (December) and Taisha (January), a march of mean 
length between March and April, and a short march between May 
and June; and one, afflicted with troubles, should keep quiet. 

Marching against an enemy under troubles has been 
explained in connection with "March after declaring war." 

My teacher says that one should almost invariably march 
against an enemy in troubles. 

But Kautilya says: that when one's resources are sufficient 
one should march, since the troubles of an enemy cannot be 
properly recognised; or whenever one finds it possible to reduce or 
destroy an enemy by marching against him, then one may 
undertake a march. 

When the weather is free from heat, one should march with an 
army mostly composed of elephants. Elephants with profuse sweat 
in hot weather are attacked by leprosy; and when they have no 
water for bathing and drinking, they lose their quickness and 
become obstinate. Hence, against a country containing plenty of 
water and during the rainy season, one should march with an army 
mostly composed of elephants. Against a country of the reverse 
description, i.e., which as little rain and muddy water, one should 
march with an army mostly composed of asses, camels, and horses. 

Against a desert, one should march during the rainy season 
with all the four constituents of the army (elephants, horses, 
chariots, and men). One should prepare a programme of short and 
long distances to be marched in accordance with the nature of the 
ground to be traversed, viz., even ground, uneven ground, valleys 

493 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



and plains. 

When the work to be accomplished is small, march against all 
kinds of enemies should be of short duration; and when it is great, it 
should also be of long duration; during the rains, encampment 
should be made abroad. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "The Knowledge of Power, Place, Time, 
Strength and Weakness, the Time of Invasion," in Book IX, "The 
Work of an Invader," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the 
hundred and twenty-second chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER II. THE TIME OF RECRUITING THE ARMY; 
THE FORM OF EQUIPMENT; AND THE WORK OF 
ARRAYING A RIVAL FORCE. 

THE time of recruiting troops, such as hereditary troops 
(maula), hired troops, corporation of soldiers (sreni), troops 
belonging to a friend or to an enemy, and wild tribes. 

When he (a king) thinks that his hereditary army is more than 
he requires for the defence of his own possessions or when he 
thinks that as his hereditary army consists of more men than he 
requires, some of them may be disaffected; or when he thinks that 
his enemy has a strong hereditary army famous for its attachment, 
and is, therefore, to be fought out with much skill on his part; or 
when he thinks that though the roads are good and the weather 
favourable, it is still the hereditary army that can endure wear and 
tear; or when he thinks that though they are famous for their 
attachment, hired soldiers and other kinds of troops cannot be 
relied upon lest they might lend their ears to the intrigues of the 

494 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



enemy to be invaded; or when he thinks that other kinds of force 
are wanting in strength, then is the time for taking the hereditary 
army. 

When he thinks that the army he has hired is greater than his 
hereditary army; that his enemy's hereditary army is small and 
disaffected, while the army his enemy has hired is insignificant and 
weak; that actual fight is less than treacherous fight; that the place 
to be traversed and the time required do not entail much loss; that 
his own army is little given to stupor, is beyond the fear of intrigue, 
and is reliable; or that little is the enemy's power which he has to 
put down, then is the time for leading the hired army. 

When he thinks that the immense corporation of soldiers he 
possesses can be trusted both to defend his country and to march 
against his enemy; that he has to be absent only for a short time; or 
that his enemy's army consists mostly of soldiers of corporations, 
and consequently the enemy is desirous of carrying on treacherous 
fight rather than an actual war, then is the time for the enlistment of 
corporations of soldiers (sreni). 

When he thinks that the strong help he has in his friend can be 
made use of both in his own country and in his marches; that he has 
to be absent only for a short time, and actual fight is more than 
treacherous fight; that having made his friend's army to occupy 
wild tracts, cities, or plains and to fight with the enemy's ally, he, 
himself, would lead his own army to fight with the enemy's army; 
that his work can be accomplished by his friend as well; that his 
success depends on his friend; that he has a friend near and 
deserving of obligation; or that he has to utilize the excessive force 
of his friend, then is the time for the enlistment of a friend's army. 

When he thinks that he will have to make his strong enemy to 
fight against another enemy on account of a city, a plain, or a wild 

495 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



tract of land, and that in that fight he will achieve one or the other 
of his objects, just like an outcast person in the fight between a dog 
and a pig; that through the battle, he will have the mischievous 
power of his enemy's allies or of wild tribes destroyed; that he will 
have to make his immediate and powerful enemy to march 
elsewhere and thus get rid of internal rebellion which his enemy 
might have occasioned; and that the time of battle between enemies 
or between inferior kings has arrived, then is the time for the 
exercise of an enemy's forces. 

This explains the time for the engagement of wild tribes. 

When he thinks that the army of wild tribes is living by the 
same road (that his enemy has to traverse); that the road is 
unfavourable for the march of his enemy's army; that his enemy's 
army consists mostly of wild tribes; that just as a wood-apple 
(bilva) is broken by means of another wood-apple, the small army 
of his enemy is to be destroyed, then is the time for engaging the 
army of wild tribes. 

That army which is vast and is composed of various kinds of 
men and is so enthusiastic as to rise even without provision and 
wages for plunder when told or untold; that which is capable of 
applying its own remedies against unfavourable rains; that which 
can be disbanded and which is invincible for enemies; and that, of 
which all the men are of the same country, same caste, and same 
training, is (to be considered as) a compact body of vast power. 

Such are the periods of time for recruiting the army. 

Of these armies, one has to pay the army of wild tribes either 
with raw produce or with allowance for plunder. 

When the time for the march of one's enemy's army has 
approached, one has to obstruct the enemy or send him far away, or 

496 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



make his movements fruitless, or, by false promise, cause him to 
delay the march, and then deceive him after the time for his march 
has passed away. One should ever be vigilant to increase one's own 
resources and frustrate the attempts of one's enemy to gain in 
strength. 

Of these armies, that which is mentioned first is better than 
the one subsequently mentioned in the order of enumeration. 

Hereditary army is better than hired army inasmuch as the 
former has its existence dependent on that of its master, and is 
constantly drilled. 

That kind of hired army which is ever near, ready to rise 
quickly, and obedient, is better than a corporation of soldiers. 

That corporation of soldiers which is native, which has the 
same end in view (as the king), and which is actuated with similar 
feelings of rivalry, anger, and expectation of success and gain, is 
better than the army of a friend. Even that corporation of soldiers 
which is further removed in place and time is, in virtue of its having 
the same end in view, better than the army of a friend. 

The army of an enemy under the leadership of an Arya is 
better than the army of wild tribes. Both of them (the army of an 
enemy and of wild tribes) are anxious for plunder. In the absence of 
plunder and under troubles, they prove as dangerous as a lurking 
snake. 

My teacher says that of the armies composed of Brdhmans, 
Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, or Siidras, that which is mentioned first is, on 
account of bravery, better to be enlisted than the one subsequently 
mentioned in the order of enumeration. 



497 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



No, says Kautilya, the enemy may win over to himself the 
army of Brdhmans by means of prostration. Hence, the army of 
Kshatriyas trained in the art of wielding weapons is better; or the 
army of Vaisyas or Sudras having great numerical strength (is 
better). 

Hence one should recruit one's army, reflecting that "such is 
the army of my enemy; and this is my army to oppose it." 

The army which possesses elephants, machines, 
sakatagarbha (?), Kunta (a wooden rod), prdsa (a weapon, 24 
inches long, with two handles), Kharvataka (?), bamboo sticks, 
and iron sticks is the army to oppose an army of elephants. 

The same possessed of stones, clubs, armour, hooks, and 
spears in plenty is the army to oppose an army of chariots. 

The same is the army to oppose cavalry. 

Men, clad in armour, can oppose elephants. 

Horses can oppose men, clad in armour. 

Men , clad in armour, chariots, men possessing defensive 
weapons, and infantry can oppose an army consisting of all the four 
constituents (elephants, chariots, cavalry and infantry). 

* Thusconsidering the strength of the constituents of one's 
own quadripartite army, one should recruit men to it so as to 
oppose an enemy's army successfully. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "The Time of Recruiting the Army, the 
Form of Equipment, and the Work of Arraying a Rival Force," in 
Book IX, "The Work of an Invader," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and twenty-third chapter from the 

498 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. CONSIDERATION OF ANNOYANCE IN 
THE REAR; AND REMEDIES AGAINST INTERNAL AND 
EXTERNAL TROUBLES. 

OF the two things, slight annoyance in the rear, and 
considerable profit in the front, slight annoyance in the rear is more 
serious; for traitors, enemies, and wild tribes augment on all sides 
the slight annoyance which one may have in the rear. The members 
of one's own state may be provoked about the acquisition of 
considerable profit in the front. 

When one under the protection of another has come to such a 
condition (i.e., slight annoyance in the rear and considerable profit 
in the front), then one should endeavour so as to cause to the rear 
enemy the loss and impoverishment of his servants and friends; 
and in order to fetch the profit in the front, one should also employ 
the commander of the army or the heir-apparent to lead the army. 
Or the king himself may go in person to receive the profit in 
the front, if he is able to ward off the annoyance in the rear. If he is 
apprehensive of internal troubles, he may take with him the 
suspected leaders. If he is apprehensive of external troubles, he 
should march after keeping inside his capital as hostages the sons 
and wives of suspected enemies and after having split into a 
number of divisions the troops of the officer in charge of waste 
lands (sunyapdla) and having placed those divisions under the 
command of several chiefs, or he may abandon his march, for it has 
been already stated that internal troubles are more serious than 
external troubles. 



499 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The provocation of any one of the minister, the priest, the 
commander-in-chief, and the heir-apparent is what is termed 
internal trouble. The king should get rid of such an internal enemy 
either by giving up his own fault or by pointing out the danger 
arising from an external enemy. When the priest is guilty of the 
gravest treason, relief should be found either by confining him or 
by banishing him; when the heir-apparent is so, confinement or 
death (nigraha), provided that there is another son of good 
character. From these, the case of the minister and the 
commander-in-chief is explained. 

When a son, or a brother, or any other person of the royal 
family attempts to seize the kingdom, he should be won over by 
holding out hopes; when this is not possible, he should be 
conciliated by allowing him to enjoy what he has already seized, or 
by making an agreement with him, or by means of intrigue through 
an enemy, or by securing to him land from an enemy, or any other 
person of inimical character. Or he may be sent out on a mission 
with an inimical force to receive the only punishment he deserves; 
or a conspiracy may be made with a frontier king or wild tribes 
whose displeasure he has incurred; or the same policy that is 
employed in securing an imprisoned prince or in seizing an 
enemy's villages may be resorted to. 

The provocation of ministers other than the prime minister is 
what is called the internal ministerial troubles. Even in this case, 
necessary strategic means should be employed. 

The provocation of the chief of a district (rdshramukhya), the 
officer in charge of the boundary, the chief of wild tribes, and a 
conquered king is what is termed external trouble. This should be 
overcome by setting one against the other. Whoever among these 
has strongly fortified himself should be caught hold of through the 
agency of a frontier king, or the chief of wild tribes, or a scion of 

500 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



his family, or an imprisoned prince; or he may be captured through 
the agency of a friend, so that he may not combine with an enemy; 
or a spy may prevent him from combining with an enemy by 
saying: "This enemy makes a cat's-paw of you and causes you to 
fall upon your own lord; When his aim is realised, he makes you to 
lead an army against enemies or wild tribes, or to sojourn in a 
troublesome place; or he causes you to reside at a frontier station 
far from the company of your sons and wife. When you have lost 
all your strength, he sells you to your own lord; or having made 
peace with you, he will please your own lord. Hence it is advisable 
for you to go to the best friend of your lord." When he agrees to the 
proposal, he is to be honoured; but when he refuses to listen, he is 
to be told: "I am specially sent to separate you from the enemy." 
The spy should however appoint some persons to murder him; or 
he may be killed by some concealed persons; or some persons 
pretending to be brave soldiers may be made to accompany him 
and may be told by a spy (to murder him). Thus the end of troubles. 
One should cause such troubles to one's enemy and ward off those 
of one's own. 

In the case of a person who is capable of causing or 
alleviating troubles, intrigue should be made use of; and in the case 
of a person who is of reliable character, able to undertake works, 
and to favour his ally in his success, and to afford protection 
against calamities, counter-intrigue (pratijdpa) should be made use 
of (to keep his friendship secure). It should also be considered 
whether the person is of good disposition or of obstinate temper 
(satha). 

The intrigue carried on by a foreigner of obstinate temper 
with local persons is of the following form:— "If after killing his 
own master, he comes to me, then I will secure these two objects, 
the destruction of my enemy and the acquisition of the enemy's 
lands; or else my enemy kills him, with the consequence that the 

501 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



partisans of the relations killed, and other persons who are equally 
guilty and are therefore apprehensive of similar punishment to 
themselves will perturb my enemy's peace when my enemy has no 
friends to count; or when my enemy falls to suspect any other 
person who is equally guilty, I shall be able to cause the death of 
this or that officer under my enemy's own command." 

The intrigue carried on by a local person of obstinate temper 
with a foreigner is of the following form:— "I shall either plunder 
the treasury of this king or destroy his army; I shall murder my 
master by employing this man; if my master consents, I shall cause 
him to march against an external enemy or a wild tribe; let his 
Circle of States be brought to confusion, let him incur enmity with 
them; then it is easy to keep him under my power, and conciliate 
him; or I myself shall seize the kingdom; or, having bound him in 
chains, I shall obtain both my master's land and outside land; or 
having caused the enemy (of my master) to march out, I shall cause 
the enemy to be murdered in good faith; or I shall seize the enemy's 
capital when it is empty (of soldiers). 

When a person of good disposition makes a conspiracy for the 
purpose of acquiring what is to be enjoyed by both then an 
agreement should be made with him. But when a person of 
obstinate temper so conspires, he should be allowed to have his 
own way and then deceived. Thus the form of policy to be adopted 
should be considered. 

* Enemies from enemies, subjects from subjects, subjects 
from enemies, and enemies from subjects should ever be guarded; 
and both from his subjects and enemies, a learned man should ever 
guard his own person. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "Consideration of Annoyance in the Rear, 
and Remedies Against Internal and External Troubles," in Book 

502 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



IX, "The Work of an Invader," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End 
of the hundred and twenty-fourth chapter from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER IV. CONSIDERATION ABOUT LOSS OF MEN, 
WEALTH, AND PROFIT. 

Loss of trained men is what is called kshaya, loss of men. 

Diminution of gold and grains is loss of wealth. 

When the expected profit overweighs both these; then one 
should march (against an enemy). 

The characteristics of an expected profit are: that which is 
receivable, that which is to be returned, that which pleases all, that 
which excites hatred, that which is realised in a short time, that 
which entails little loss of men to earn, that which entails little loss 
of wealth to earn, that which is vast, that which is productive, that 
which is harmless, that which is just, and that which comes first. 

When a profit is easily acquired and secured without the 
necessity of returning it to others, it is termed 'receivable'; that 
which is of the reverse nature is 'repayable'; whoever goes to 
receive a repayable profit or is enjoying it gets destruction. 

When he, however, thinks that "by taking a repayable profit I 
shall cause my enemy's treasury, army, and other defensive 
resources to dwindle; I shall exploit to impoverishment the mines, 
timber and elephant forests, irrigational works and roads of traffic 
of my enemy; I shall impoverish his subjects, or cause them to 
migrate, or conspire against him; when they are reduced to this 
condition, my enemy inflames their hatred (by punishing them); or 
I shall set my enemy against another enemy; my enemy will give 
up his hopes and run away to one who has some blood-relationship 

503 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



with him; or having improved his lands, I shall return them to him, 
and when he is thus brought to ascendancy, he will be a lasting 
friend of mine,"— then he may take even a repayable profit. Thus 
receivable and repayable profits are explained. 

That profit which a virtuous king receives from a wicked king 
pleases both his own and other people; that which is of the reverse 
nature excites hatred; that profit which is received at the advice of 
ministers excites hatred, for they think: 'This king has reduced our 
party and impoverished us." That profit which is received without 
caring for the opinion of treacherous ministers excites hatred, for 
they think: "Having made the profit, this king destroys us." But that 
which is of the reverse nature pleases. Thus pleasing and 
provoking profits are explained. 

That which is acquired by mere marching is what is acquired 
soon. 

That which is to be realised by negotiation (mantrasdddhya) 
entails little loss of men. 

That which requires merely the expenditure of provisions (for 
servants employed to earn it) entails little loss of wealth. 

That which is immediately of considerable value is vast. 

That which is the source of wealth is productive. 

That which is attained with no troubles is harmless. 

That which is acquired best is just. 

That which is acquired without any hindrance from allies is 
profit coming first. 



504 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When profits (from two sources) are equal, he should 
consider the place and time, the strength and means (required to 
acquire it), affection and disaffection (caused by it), intrigue and 
absence of intrigue (involving it), its nearness and distance, its 
present and future effects, its constant worth or worthlessness, and 
its plentifulness and usefulness; and he should accept only that 
profit which is possessed of most of the above good characteristics. 

Obstructions to profit are: passion, anger, timidity, mercy, 
bashfulness, living like one who is not an Arya, haughtiness, pity, 
desire for the other world, strict adherence to virtuous life, 
deception, neediness, envy, negligence of what is at hand, 
generosity, want of faith, fear, inability to endure cold, heat, and 
rain, and faith in the auspiciousness of lunar days and stars. 

*Wealth will pass away from that childish man who inquires 
most after the stars; for wealth is the star for wealth; what will the 
stars do? 

*Capable men will certainly secure wealth at least after a 
hundred trials; and wealth is bound by wealth just as elephants are 
bound by counter-elephants. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "Consideration about Loss of Men, Wealth 
and Profit,' in Book IX, "The Work of an Invader," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and twenty-fifth 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL DANGERS. 

THE formation of a treaty and other settlements otherwise 

505 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



than they ought to have been made is impolicy. From it arise 
dangers. 

The various kinds of dangers are: that which is of external 
origin and of internal abetment; that which is of internal origin and 
of external abetment; that which is of external origin and of 
external abetment; and that which is of internal origin and of 
internal abetment. 

Where foreigners carry on an intrigue with local men or local 
men with foreigners, there the consequence of the intrigue carried 
on by the combination of local and foreign persons will be very 
serious. Abettors of an intrigue have a better chance of success than 
its originators; for when the originators of an intrigue are put down, 
others will hardly succeed in undertaking any other intrigue. 
Foreigners can hardly win over local persons by intrigue; nor can 
local men seduce foreigners. Foreigners will find their vast efforts 
after all unavailing, and only conducive, to the prosperity of the 
king (against whom they want to conspire). 

When local persons are abetting (with foreigners), the means 
to be employed to suppress them are conciliation (sdma) and gifts 
(ddna). 

The act of pleasing a man with a high rank and honour is 
conciliation; favour and remission of taxes or employment to 
conduct state- works is what is termed gifts. 

When foreigners are abetting, the king should employ the 
policy of dissension and coercion. Spies under the guise of friends 
may inform foreigners: "Mind, this man is desirous of deceiving 
you with the help of his own spies who are disguised as traitors." 
Spies under the garb of traitors may mix with traitors and separate 
them from foreigners, or foreigners from local traitors. Fiery spies 
may make friendship with traitors and kill them with weapons or 

506 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



poison; or having invited the plotting foreigners, they may murder 
the latter. 

Where foreigners carry on an intrigue with foreigners, or local 
men with local men, there the consequences of the intrigue, 
unanimously carried on with a set purpose, will be very serious. 
When guilt is got rid of, there will be no guilty persons; but when a 
guilty person is got rid of, the guilt will contaminate others. Hence, 
when foreigners carry on an intrigue, the king should employ the 
policy of dissension and coercion. Spies under the guise of friends 
may inform foreign conspirators: "Mind, this your king, with the 
desire of enriching himself, is naturally provoked against you all." 
Then fiery spies may mix with the servants and soldiers of the 
abettor (of foreign conspirators) and kill them with weapons, 
poison, and other means. Other spies may then expose or betray the 
abettor. 

When local men carry on an intrigue with local men, the king 
should employ necessary strategic means to put it down. He may 
employ the policy of conciliation with regard to those who keep the 
appearance of contentment, or who are naturally discontented or 
otherwise. Gifts may be given under the pretext of having been 
satisfied with a favoured man's steadfastness in maintaining the 
purity of his character, or under the plea of anxious care about his 
weal or woe. A spy under the garb of a friend may tell the local 
persons: 'Your king is attempting to find your heart; you should 
tell him the truth." Or local men may be separated from each other, 
by telling them: "This man carries such a tale to the king against 
you." And coercive measures may be employed as described in the 
Chapter on "Awards of Punishments." 

Of these four kinds of danger, internal danger should first be 
got rid of; for it has been already stated that internal troubles like 
the fear from a lurking snake are more serious than external 
troubles. 

507 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* One must consider that of these four kinds of danger, that 
which is mentioned first is less grave than the one subsequently 
mentioned, whether or not it is caused by powerful persons; 
otherwise (i.e., when the danger is caused by insignificant 
persons), simple means may be used to get rid of it. 

[Thus ends Chapter V, "External and Internal Dangers" in Book 
IX, "The Work of an Invader," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End 
of the hundred and twenty- sixth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER VI. PERSONS ASSOCIATED WITH TRAITORS 
AND ENEMIES 

THERE are two kinds of innocent persons, those who have 
disassociated themselves from traitors and those who have kept 
themselves away from enemies. 

In order to separate citizens and country -people from traitors, 
the king should employ all the strategic means, except coercion. It 
is very difficult to inflict punishment on an assembly of influential 
men; and if inflicted at all, it may not produce the desired effect, 
but may give rise to undesirable consequences. He may, however, 
take steps against the leaders of the seditious as shown in the 
chapter on "Awards of Punishments." 

In order to separate his people from an enemy, he should 
employ conciliation and other strategic means to frustrate the 
attempt of those who are the enemy's principal agents or by whom 
the enemy's work is to be carried out. 

Success in securing the services of capable agents depends 

508 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



upon the king; success of efforts depends upon ministers; and 
success to be achieved through capable agents is, therefore, 
dependent both upon the king and his ministers. 

When, in spite of the combination of traitors and loyal 
persons, success is achieved, it is mixed success; when people are 
thus mixed, success is to be achieved through the agency of loyal 
persons; for in the absence of a support, nothing that requires a 
support for its existence can exist. When success is involved in the 
union of friends and enemies it is termed a success contaminated 
by an enemy; when success is contaminated by an enemy, it is to be 
achieved through the agency of a friend; for it is easy to attain 
success through a friend, but not through an enemy. 

When a friend does not come to terms, intrigue should be 
frequently resorted to. Through the agency of spies, the friend 
should be won over after separating him from the enemy. Or 
attempts may be made to win him over who is the last among 
combined friends; for when he who is the last among combined 
friends is secured, those who occupy the middle rank will be 
separated from each other; or attempts may be made to win over a 
friend who occupies middle rank; for when a friend occupying 
middle rank among combined kings is secured, friends, occupying 
the extreme ranks cannot keep the union. (In brief) all those 
measures which tend to break their combination should be 
employed. 

A virtuous king may be conciliated by praising his birth, 
family, learning and character, and by pointing out the relationship 
which his ancestors had (with the proposer of peace), or by 
describing the benefits and absence of enmity shown to him. 

Or a king who is of good intentions, or who has lost his 
enthusiastic spirits, or whose strategic means are all exhausted and 

509 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



thwarted in a number of wars, or who has lost his men and wealth, 
or who has suffered from sojourning abroad, or who is desirous of 
gaining a friend in good faith, or who is apprehensive of danger 
from another, or who cares more for friendship than anything else, 
may be won over by conciliation. 

Or a king who is greedy or who has lost his men may be won 
over by giving gifts through the medium of ascetics and chiefs who 
have been previously kept with him for the purpose. 

Gifts are of five kinds: abandonment of what is to be paid; 
continuance of what is being given; repayment of what is received; 
payment of one's own wealth; and help for a voluntary raid on the 
property of others. 

When any two kings are apprehensive of enmity and seizure 
of land from each other, seeds of dissension may be sown between 
them. The timid of the two may be threatened with destruction and 
may be told: "Having made peace with you, this king works against 
you; the friend of this other king is permitted to make an open 
peace." 

When from one's own country or from another's country 
merchandise or commodities for manufacture in a manufactory are 
going to an enemy's country, spies may spread the information that 
those commodities are obtained from one whom the enemy wanted 
to march against. When commodities are thus gathered in 
abundance (the owner of the articles) may send a message to the 
enemy: "These commodities and merchandise are sent by me to 
you; please declare war against the combined kings or desert them; 
you will then get the rest of the tribute." Then spies may inform the 
other kings of the combination; "These articles are given to him by 
your enemy." 



510 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The conqueror may gather some merchandise peculiar to his 
enemy's country and unknown elsewhere. Spies, under the garb of 
merchants, may sell that merchandise to other important enemies 
and tell them that that merchandise was given (to the conqueror) by 
the enemy (whose country's product it is). 

Or having pleased with wealth and honour those who are 
highly treacherous (among an enemy's people), the conqueror may 
cause them to live with the enemy, armed with weapons, poison 
and fire. One of the ministers of the enemy may be killed. His sons 
and wife may be induced to say that the minister was killed at night 
(by such and such a person). Then the enemy's minister may ask 
every one of the family of the murdered minister (as to the cause of 
the death). If they say in reply as they are told, they may be caused 
to be set free; if they do not do so, they may be caused to be caught 
hold of. Whoever has gained the confidence of the king may tell 
the king (the enemy) that he (the enemy) has to guard his own 
person from such and such a minister. Then the recipient of salaries 
from the two states (the conqueror's and the enemy's state) may 
inform the suspected minister to destroy (the king). 

Or such kings as are possessed of enthusiasm and power may 
be told: "Seize the country of this king, our treaty of peace standing 
as before." Then spies should inform the particular king of the 
attempt of these kings and cause the destruction of the 
commissariat and of the followers of one of these kings. Other 
spies, pretending to be friends, should inform these kings of the 
necessity of destroying the particular king. 

When an enemy's brave soldier, elephant, or horse dies, or is 
killed, or carried off by spies, other spies may tell the enemy that 
the death is due to mutual conflict among his followers. The man 
who is employed to commit such murders may be asked to repeat 
his work again on the condition of his receiving the balance due to 

511 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



him. He should receive the amount from the recipient of salaries 
from two states; when the king's party is thus divided, some may be 
won over (to the side of the conqueror). 

This explains the case of the commander-in-chief, the prince, 
and the officers of the army (of the enemy). 

Likewise seeds of dissension may be sown among combined 
states. Thus the work of sowing the seeds of dissension. 

Spies under concealment may, without the help of a fiery spy, 
murder by means of weapons, poison or other things a fortified 
enemy who is of mean character or who is under troubles; any one 
of hidden spies may do the work when it is found easy; or a fiery 
spy alone may do the work by means of weapons, poison or fire; 
for a fiery spy can do what others require all the necessary aids to 
do. 

Thus the four forms of strategic means. 

Of these means, that which comes first in the order of 
enumeration is, as stated in connection with "invaders," easier than 
the rest. Conciliation is of single quality; gift is two-fold, since 
conciliation precedes it; dissension is threefold, since conciliation 
and gift precede it; and conciliatory coercion is fourfold, since 
conciliation, gift, and dissension precede it. 

The same means are employed in the case of local enemies, 
too; the difference is this: the chief messengers known to the 
manufactories may be sent to any one of the local enemies in order 
to employ him for the purpose of making a treaty or for the purpose 
of destroying another person. When he agrees to the proposal, the 
messengers should inform (their master) of their success. Then 
recipients of salaries from two states should inform the people or 

512 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



enemies concerned in the local enemy's work: "This person (the 
local enemy) is your wicked king." When a person has reason to 
fear or hate another, spies may augment dissension between them 
by telling one of them: "This man is making an agreement with 
your enemy, and will soon deceive you; hence make peace (with 
the king) soon and attempt to put down this man." Or by bringing 
about friendship or marriage connection between persons who 
have not been hitherto connected, spies may separate them from 
others; or through the aid of a neighbouring king, a wild chief, a 
scion of an enemy's family, or an imprisoned prince, local enemies 
may be destroyed outside the kingdom; or through the agency of a 
caravan or wild tribes, a local enemy may be killed along with his 
army; or persons, pretending to be the supporters of a local enemy 
and who are of the same caste, may under favourable opportunities 
kill him; or spies under concealment may kill local enemies with 
fire, poison, and weapons. 

* Whenthe country is full of local enemies, they may be got 
rid of by making them drink poisonous (liquids); an obstinate 
(clever) enemy may be destroyed by spies or by means of 
(poisoned) flesh given to him in good faith. 

[Thus ends Chapter VI, "Persons Associated with Traitors and 
Enemies," in Book IX, "The Work of an Invader," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and twenty- seventh 
chapter from the beginning,] 



CHAPTER VII. DOUBTS ABOUT WEALTH AND HARM; 
AND SUCCESS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE 
EMPLOYMENT OF ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIC 
MEANS. 

513 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



INTENSITY of desire and other passions provoke one's own 
people; impolicy provokes external enemies. Both these are the 
characteristics of demoniac life. Anger disturbs the feelings of 
one's own men. Those causes which are conducive to the 
prosperity of one's enemy are dangerous wealth, provocative 
wealth, and wealth of doubtful consequences. 

Wealth which, when obtained, increases the enemy's 
prosperity, or which, though obtained, is repayable to the enemy, 
or which causes loss of men and money, is dangerous wealth; for 
example, wealth which is enjoyed in common by neighbouring 
kings and which is acquired at their expense; or wealth which is 
asked for by an enemy; or wealth which is seized like one's own 
property; or wealth which is acquired in the front and which causes 
future troubles or provokes an enemy in the rear; or wealth which is 
obtained by destroying a friend or by breaking a treaty and which is 
therefore detested by the Circle of States— all these are the varieties 
of dangerous wealth. 

Wealth which causes fear from one's own people or from an 
enemy is provocative wealth. 

When, in connection with these two kinds of wealth, there 
arise doubts, such as: "Is it provocative wealth or not? Harmless 
wealth or provocative wealth? First provocative and then 
harmless? Is it profitable to encourage an enemy or a friend? 
Would the bestowal of wealth and honour on an enemy's army 
excite hatred or not?"— of these doubts, doubt regarding the 
acquirement of wealth is preferable to (doubts regarding harm or 
provocation). 

Wealth productive of wealth; wealth productive of nothing; 
wealth productive of harm; loss or harm productive of wealth; 
sustenance of harm for no profit; harm productive of harm— these 
are the six varieties of harmful wealth. 

514 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Destruction of an enemy in the front resulting in the 
destruction of an enemy in the rear is what is termed "wealth 
productive of wealth." 

Wealth acquired by helping a neutral king with the army is 
what is called "wealth productive of nothing." 

The reduction of the internal strength of an enemy is "wealth 
productive of harm." 

Helping the neighbouring king of an enemy with men and 
money is "harm productive of wealth." 

Withdrawal after encouraging or setting a king of poor 
resources (against another) is "harm productive of nothing." 

Inactivity after causing excitement to a superior king is 
"harm productive of harm." 

Of these, it is better to pursue that which is mentioned first in 
the order of enumeration than that which is subsequently 
mentioned. Thus the procedure of setting to work. 

When the surrounding circumstances are conducive to 
wealth, it is known as wealth from all sides. 

When the acquirement of wealth from all sides is obstructed 
by an enemy in the rear, it takes the form of dangerous wealth 
involved in doubts. 

In these two cases, success can be achieved by securing the 
help of a friend and the enemy of the rear-enemy. 

When there is reason to apprehend fear from enemies on all 

515 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



sides, it is a dangerous trouble; when a friend comes forward to 
avert this fear, that trouble becomes involved in doubt. In these two 
cases, success can be achieved by securing the support of a 
nomadic enemy and the enemy of the rear-enemy. 

When the prospect of acquiring profit from one or the other 
side is irremediably obstructed by enemies, it is called "dangerous 
wealth." In this case as well as in the case of profit from all sides, 
one should undertake to march for acquiring profitable wealth. 
When the prospects of getting wealth (from two sides) are equal, 
one should march to secure that which is important, near, unfailing, 
and obtainable by easy means. 

When there is the apprehension of harm from one quarter as 
well as from another, it is wealth beset with danger from two sides. 
In this case as well as in the case of wealth involved in danger from 
all sides, success is to be desired with the help of friends. In the 
absence of friends, he should attempt to ward off harm from one 
side with the help of an ally who can be easily won over; he should 
ward off harm from two sides with help of an ally of superior 
power; and he should ward off harm from all sides with all the 
resources he can command. When it is impossible to do this, he 
should run away, leaving all that belongs to him; for if he lives, his 
return to power is certain as in the case of Suydtra and U day ana. 

When there is the prospect of wealth from one side and the 
apprehension of an attack from another, it is termed a situation 
beset with wealth and harm. In this case, he should march to 
acquire that wealth which will enable him to ward off the attack; 
otherwise he should attempt to avert the attack. This explains the 
situation which is beset with wealth and harm on all sides. 

When there is the apprehension of harm from one side and 
when the prospect of acquiring wealth from another side is 
involved in doubt, it is termed doubt of harm and wealth from two 

516 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



sides. In this, he should ward off the harm first; when this is done, 
he should attempt to acquire the doubtful wealth. This explains the 
doubtful situation of harm and wealth from all sides. 

When there is the prospect of wealth from one side and the 
apprehension of doubtful harm from another, it is a doubtful 
situation of harm and wealth from two sides. This explains the 
situation of doubtful harm and wealth from all sides. In this, he 
should attempt to ward off the doubts of harm against each of the 
elements of his sovereignty in order; for it is better to leave a friend 
under circumstances of doubtful harm, than the army; also the 
army may be left under circumstances of doubtful harm, but not the 
treasury. When all the elements of his sovereignty cannot be 
relieved from harm, he should attempt to relieve some of them at 
least. Among the elements, he should attempt to relieve first those 
animate elements which are most loyal, and free from firebrands 
and greedy men; of inanimate elements (he should relieve) that 
which is most precious and useful. Such elements as are capable of 
easy relief may be relieved by such means as an agreement of 
peace, observance of neutrality, and making peace with one and 
waging war with another. Those which require greater efforts may 
be relieved by other means. 

Of deterioration, stagnation and progress, he should attempt 
to secure that which is mentioned later in the order of enumeration; 
or in the reverse order, if he finds that deterioration and other 
stages are conducive to future prosperity. Thus the determination 
of situations. This explains the situation of doubtful harm and 
wealth in the middle or at the close of a march. 

Since doubts of wealth and harm are constantly associated 
with all expeditions, it is better to secure wealth by which it is easy 
to destroy an enemy in the rear and his allies, to recoup the loss of 
men and money, to make provisions during the time of sojourning 

517 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



abroad, to make good what is repayable, and to defend the state. 
Also harm or doubtful prospects of wealth in one's own state are 
always intolerable. 

This explains the situation of doubtful harm in the middle of 
an expedition. But at the close of an expedition, it is better to 
acquire wealth either by reducing or destroying a reducible or 
assailable enemy than to get into a situation of doubtful harm, lest 
enemies might cause troubles. But, for one who is not the leader of 
combination of states, it is better to risk the situation of doubtful 
wealth or harm in the middle or at the close of an expedition, since 
one is not obliged to continue the expedition. 

Wealth, virtue, and enjoyment form the aggregate of the three 
kinds of wealth. Of these, it is better to secure that which is 
mentioned first than that which is subsequently mentioned in the 
order of enumeration. 

Harm, sin and grief form the aggregate, of the three kinds of 
harm. Of these, it is better to provide against that which is 
mentioned first, than that which is subsequently mentioned. 

Wealth or harm, virtue or sin, and enjoyment or grief, are the 
aggregate of the three kinds of doubts. Of these, it is better to try 
that which is mentioned first than that which is mentioned later in 
the order of enumeration, and which it is certain to shake off. Thus 
the determination of opportunities. Thus ends the discourse on 
danger. 

Regarding success in these dangerous situations and times: in 
the case of troubles from sons, brothers or relatives, it is better to 
secure relief by means of conciliation and gifts; in the case of 
troubles from citizens, country people, or chiefs of the army, it is 
by means of gifts and sowing the seeds of dissension; in the case of 

518 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



troubles from a neighbouring king or wild tribes, it is by means of 
sowing the seeds of dissension and coercion. This is following the 
order of the means. In other kinds of situations, the same means 
may be employed in the reverse order. 

Success against friends and enemies is always achieved by 
complicated means; for strategic means help each other. In the case 
of suspected ministers of an enemy, the employment of 
conciliation does not need the use of the other means; in the case of 
treacherous ministers it is by means of gifts; in the case of 
combination of states, it is by means of sowing the seeds of 
dissension; and in the case of the powerful, it is by means of 
coercion. 

When grave and light dangers are together apprehended, a 
particular means, or alternative means or all the means may be 
employed. 

By this alone, but not by any other means, is what is meant 

by a particular means. 

By this or that, is what is meant by alternative means. 

By this as well as by that, is what is meant by all the means. 

Of these, the single means as well as the combination of any 
three means are four; the combinations of any two means are six; 
and the combination of all the four is one. Thus there are fifteen 
kinds of strategic means. Of the same number are the means in the 
reverse order. 

When a king attains success by only one means among these 
various means, he is called one of single success; when by two, one 
of double success; when by three, one of treble success; and when 
by four, one of four-fold success. 

519 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



As virtue is the basis of wealth and as enjoyment is the end of 
wealth, success in achieving that kind of wealth which promotes 
virtue, wealth and enjoyment is termed success in all 
(sarvdrthasiddhi). Thus varieties of success. 

Such providential visitations as fire, floods, disease, 
pestilence (pramara), fever (vidrava), famine, and demoniac 
troubles are dangerous. 

Success in averting these is to be sought by worshipping 
gods and Brahmans. 

* Whether demoniacal troubles are absent, or are too many, or 
normal, the rites prescribed in the Atharvaveda as well as the rites 
undertaken by accomplished ascetics are to be performed for 
success. 

[Thus ends Chapter VII, "Doubts about Wealth and Harm; and 
Success to be Obtained by the Employment of Alternative 
Strategic Means" in Book IX, "The Work of an Invader," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and twenty-eighth 
chapter from the beginning. With this, ends the ninth Book "The 
Work of an Invader" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 411-436. 



520 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book X, "Relating to War" 



CHAPTER I. ENCAMPMENT. 

ON a site declared to be the best according to the science of 
buildings, the leader (ndyaka), the carpenter (vardhaki), and the 
astrologer (mauhurtika) should measure a circular, rectangular, or 
square spot for the camp which should, in accordance with the 
available space, consist of four gates, six roads, and nine divisions. 

Provided with ditches, parapets, walls, doors, and watch 
towers for defence against fear, the quarters of the king, 1,000 
bows long and half as broad, should be situated in one of the nine 
divisions to the north from the centre, while to the west of it his 
harem, and at its extremity the army of the harem are to be situated. 
In his front, the place for worshipping gods; to his right the 
departments of finance and accounts; and to his left the quarters of 
elephants and horses mounted by the king himself. Outside this and 
at a distance of 100 bows from each other, there should be fixed 
four cart-poles (sakatamedhi) pillars and walls. In the first (of these 
four divisions), the prime minister and the priest (should have their 
quarters); to its right the store-house and the kitchen: to its left the 
store of raw products and weapons; in the second division the 
quarters of the hereditary army and of horses and chariots: outside 
this, hunters and keepers of dogs with their trumpets and with fire; 
also spies and sentinels; also, to prevent the attack of enemies, 
wells, mounds and thorns should be arranged. The eighteen 
divisions of sentinels employed for the purpose of securing the 
safety of the king should be changing their watches in turn. In order 
to ascertain the movements of spies, a time-table of business 
should also be prepared during the day. Disputes, drinking, social 
gatherings, and gambling should also be prohibited. The system of 

521 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



passports should also be observed. The officer in charge of the 
boundary (of the camp) should supervise the conduct of the 
commander-in-chief and the observance of the instructions given 
to the army. 

* The instructor (prasdstd) with his retinue and with 
carpenters and free labourers should carefully march in front on the 
road, and should dig wells of water. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Encampment," in Book X, "Relating to 
War," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and 
twenty-ninth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER II. MARCH OF THE CAMP; AND 
PROTECTION OF THE ARMY IN TIMES OF DISTRESS 
AND ATTACK. 

HAVING prepared a list of the villages and forests situated 
on the road with reference to their capacity to supply grass, 
firewood and water, march of the army should be regulated 
according to the programme of short and long halts. Food- stuffs 
and provisions should be carried in double the quantity that may be 
required in any emergency. In the absence of separate means to 
carry food-stuffs, the army itself should be entrusted with the 
business of carrying them; or they may be stored in a central place. 

In front the leader (ndyaka); in the centre the harem and the 
master (the king); on the sides horses and bodyguards (bdhutsdra); 
at the extremity of the (marching) circular-array, elephants and the 
surplus army; on all sides the army habituated to forest-life; and 
other troops following the camp, the commissariat, the army of an 
ally, and his followers should select their own road: for armies who 
have secured suitable positions will prove superior in fight to those 

522 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



who are in bad positions. 

The army of the lowest quality can march a yojana (5 5/44 
miles a day); that of the middle quality a yojana and a half and the 
best army two yojanas. Hence, it is easy to ascertain the rate of 
march. The commander should march behind and put up his camp 
in the front. 

In case of any obstruction, the army should march in 
crocodile array in the front, in cart-like array behind, and on the 
sides in diamond-like array (i.e., in four or five rows, each having 
its front, rear and sides) and in a compact array on all sides. When 
the army is marching on a path passable by a single man, it should 
march in pin-like array. When peace is made with one and war is to 
be waged with another, steps should be taken to protect the friends 
who are bringing help against enemies, such as an enemy in the 
rear, his ally, a madhyama king, or a neutral king. Roads with 
obstructions should be examined and cleared. Finance, the army, 
the the strength of the armies of friends, enemies, and wild tribes, 
the prospect of rains, and the seasons should be thoroughly 
examined. 

When the protective power of fortifications and stores (of the 
enemies) is on its decay, when it is thought that distress of the hired 
army or of a friend's army (of the enemy) is impending; when 
intriguers are not for a quick march; or when the enemy is likely to 
come to terms (with the invader), slow march should be made; 
otherwise quick march should be made. 

Waters may be crossed by means of elephants, planks spread 
over pillars erected, bridges, boats, timber and mass of bamboos, as 
well as by means of dry sour gourds, big baskets covered with 
skins, rafts, gandikd (i), and venikd (i). 



523 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When the crossing of a river is obstructed by the enemy, the 
invader may cross it elsewhere together with his elephants and 
horses, and entangle the enemy in an ambuscade (sattra). 

He should protect his army when it has to pass a long desert 
without water; when it is without grass, firewood and water; when 
it has to traverse a difficult road; when it is harassed by an enemy's 
attacks; when it is suffering from hunger and thirst after a journey; 
when it is ascending or descending a mountainous country full of 
mire, water-pools, rivers and cataracts; when it finds itself crowded 
in a narrow and difficult path; when it is halting, starting or eating; 
when it is tired from a long march; when it is sleepy; when it is 
suffering from a disease, pestilence or famine; when a great portion 
of its infantry, cavalry and elephants is diseased; when it is not 
sufficiently strong; or when it is under troubles. He should destroy 
the enemy's army under such circumstances. 

When the enemy's army is marching through a path 
traversable by a single man, the commander (of the invader's army) 
should ascertain its strength by estimating the quantity of 
food-stuffs, grass, bedding, and other requisites, fire pots 
(agninidhdna), flags and weapons. He should also conceal those of 
his own army. 

* Keeping a mountainous or river fortress with all its 
resources at his back in his own country he should fight or put up 
his camp. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "March of the Camp; and Protection of the 
Army in Times of Distress and Attack" in Book X, "Relating to 
War" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and 
thirtieth chapter from the beginning.] 



524 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER III. FORMS OF TREACHEROUS FIGHTS; 
ENCOURAGEMENT TO ONES OWN ARMY AND FIGHT 
BETWEEN ONES OWN AND ENEMY'S ARMIES. 

HE who is possessed of a strong army, who has succeeded in 
his intrigues, and who has applied remedies against dangers may 
undertake an open fight, if he has secured a position favourable to 
himself; otherwise a treacherous fight. 

He should strike the enemy when the latter's army is under 
troubles or is furiously attacked; or he who has secured a 
favourable position may strike the enemy entangled in an 
unfavourable position. Or he who possesses control over the 
elements of his own state may, through the aid of the enemy's 
traitors, enemies and inimical wild tribes, make a false impression 
of his own defeat on the mind of the enemy who is entrenched in a 
favourable position, and having thus dragged the enemy into an 
unfavourable position, he may strike the latter. When the enemy's 
army is in a compact body, he should break it by means of his 
elephants; when the enemy has come down from its favourable 
position, following the false impression of the invader's defeat, the 
invader may turn back and strike the enemy's army, broken or 
unbroken. Having struck the front of the enemy's army, he may 
strike it again by means of his elephants and horses when it has 
shown its back and is running away. When frontal attack is 
unfavourable, he should strike it from behind; when attack on the 
rear is unfavourable, he should strike it in front; when attack on one 
side is unfavourable, he should strike it on the other. 

Or having caused the enemy to fight with his own army of 
traitors, enemies and wild tribes, the invader should with his fresh 
army strike the enemy when tired. Or having through the aid of the 
army of traitors given to the enemy the impression of defeat, the 

525 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



invader with full confidence in his own strength may allure and 
strike the over-confident enemy. Or the invader, if he is vigilant, 
may strike the careless enemy when the latter is deluded with the 
thought that the invader's merchants, camp and carriers have been 
destroyed. Or having made his strong force look like a weak force, 
he may strike the enemy's brave men when falling against him. Or 
having captured the enemy's cattle or having destroyed the enemy's 
dogs (svapadavadhal), he may induce the enemy's brave men to 
come out and may slay them. Or having made the enemy's men 
sleepless by harassing them at night, he may strike them during the 
day, when they are weary from want of sleep and are parched by 
heat, himself being under the shade. Or with his army of elephants 
enshrouded with cotton and leather dress, he may offer a 
night-battle to his enemy. Or he may strike the enemy's men during 
the afternoon when they are tired by making preparations during 
the forenoon; or he may strike the whole of the enemy's army when 
it is facing the sun. 

A desert, a dangerous spot, marshy places, mountains, 
valleys, uneven boats, cows, cart-like array of the army, mist, and 
night are sattras (temptations alluring the enemy against the 
invader). 

The beginning of an attack is the time for treacherous fights. 

As to an open or fair fight, a virtuous king should call his 
army together, and, specifying the place and time of battle, address 
them thus: "I am a paid servant like yourselves; this country is to be 
enjoyed (by me) together with you; you have to strike the enemy 
specified by me." 

His minister and priest should encourage the army by saying 
thus:— 



526 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



"It is declared in the Vedas that the goal which is reached by 
sacrificers after performing the final ablutions in sacrifices in 
which the priests have been duly paid for is the very goal which 
brave men are destined to attain." About this there are the two 
verses— 

* Beyond those places which Brahmans, desirous of getting into 
heaven, attain together with their sacrificial instruments by 
performing a number of sacrifices, or by practising penance are the 
places which brave men, losing life in good battles, are destined to 
attain immediately. 

* Let not a new vessel filled with water, consecrated and covered 
over with darbha grass be the acquisition of that man who does not 
fight in return for the subsistence received by him from his master, 
and who is therefore destined to go to hell. 

Astrologers and other followers of the king should infuse 
spirit into his army by pointing out the impregnable nature of the 
array of his army, his power to associate with gods, and his 
omnisciency; and they should at the same time frighten the enemy. 
The day before the battle, the king should fast and lie down on his 
chariot with weapons. He should also make oblations into the fire 
pronouncing the mantras of the Atharvaveda, and cause prayers to 
be offered for the good of the victors as well as of those who attain 
to heaven by dying in the battle-field. He should also submit his 
person to Brahmans; he should make the central portion of his 
army consist of such men as are noted for their bravery, skill, high 
birth, and loyalty and as are not displeased with the rewards and 
honours bestowed on them. The place that is to be occupied by the 
king is that portion of the army which is composed of his father, 
sons, brothers, and other men, skilled in using weapons, and having 
no flags and head-dress. He should mount an elephant or a chariot, 
if the army consists mostly of horses; or he may mount that kind of 
animal, of which the army is mostly composed or which is the most 

527 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



skillfully trained. One who is disguised like the king should attend 
to the work of arraying the army. 

Soothsayers and court bards should describe heaven as the 
goal for the brave and hell for the timid; and also extol the caste, 
corporation, family, deeds, and character of his men. The followers 
of the priest should proclaim the auspicious aspects of the 
witchcraft performed. Spies, carpenters and astrologers should also 
declare the success of their own operations and the failure of those 
of the enemy. 

After having pleased the army with rewards and honours, the 
commander-in-chief should address it and say:— 

A hundred thousand (panas) for slaying the king (the enemy); 
fifty thousand for slaying the commander-in-chief, and the 
heir-apparent; ten thousand for slaying the chief of the brave; five 
thousand for destroying an elephant, or a chariot; a thousand for 
killing a horse, a hundred (panas) for slaying the chief of the 
infantry; twenty for bringing a head; and twice the pay in addition 
to whatever is seized. This information should be made known to 
the leaders of every group of ten (men). 

Physicians with surgical instruments (sastra), machines, 
remedial oils, and cloth in their hands; and women with prepared 
food and beverage should stand behind, uttering encouraging 
words to fighting men. 

The army should be arrayed on a favourable position, facing 
other than the south quarter, with its back turned to the sun, and 
capable to rush as it stands. If the array is made on an unfavourable 
spot, horses should be run. If the army arrayed on an unfavourable 
position is confined or is made to run away from it (by the enemy), 
it will be subjugated either as standing or running away; otherwise 

528 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



it will conquer the enemy when standing or running away. The 
even, uneven, and complex nature of the ground in the front or on 
the sides or in the rear should be examined. On an even site, 
staff-like or circular array should be made; and on an uneven 
ground, arrays of compact movement or of detached bodies should 
be made. 

Having broken the whole army (of the enemy), (the invader) 
should seek for peace; if the armies are of equal strength, he should 
make peace when requested for it; and if the enemy's army is 
inferior, he should attempt to destroy it, but not that which has 
secured a favourable position and is reckless of life. 

* When a broken army, reckless of life, resumes its attack, its 
fury becomes irresistible; hence he should not harass a broken 
army (of the enemy). 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "Forms of Treacherous Fights; 
Encouragement to One's Own Army, and Fight Between One's 
Own and Enemy's Armies," in Book X, "Relating to War," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and thirty-first chapter 
from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. BATTLEFIELDS; THE WORK OF 
INFANTRY, CAVALRY, CHARIOTS, AND ELEPHANTS. 

FAVOURABLE positions for infantry, cavalry, chariots, and 
elephants are desirable both for war and camp. 

For men who are trained to fight in desert tracts, forests, 
valleys, or plains, and for those who are trained to fight from 
ditches or heights, during the day or night, and for elephants which 

529 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



are bred in countries with rivers, mountains, marshy lands, or 
lakes, as well as for horses, such battlefields as they would find 
suitable (are to be secured). 

That which is even, splendidly firm, free from mounds and 
pits made by wheels and foot-prints of beasts, not offering 
obstructions to the axle, free from trees, plants, creepers and trunks 
of trees, not wet, and free from pits, ant-hills, sand, and thorns is 
the ground for chariots. 

For elephants, horses and men, even or uneven grounds are 
good, either for war or for camp. 

That which contains small stones, trees and pits that can be 
jumped over and which is almost free from thorns is the ground for 
horses. 

That which contains big stones, dry or green trees, and 
ant-hills is the ground for the infantry. 

That which is uneven with assailable hills and valleys, which 
has trees that can be pulled down and plants that can be torn, and 
which is full of muddy soil free from thorns is the ground for 
elephants. 

That which is free from thorns, not very uneven, but very 
expansive, is an excellent ground for the infantry. 

That which is doubly expansive, free from mud, water and 
roots of trees, and which is devoid of piercing gravel is an excellent 
ground for horses. 

That which possesses dust, muddy soil, water, grass and 
weeds, and which is free from thorns (known as dog's teeth) and 
obstructions from the branches of big trees is an excellent ground 

530 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



for elephants. 

That which contains lakes, which is free from mounds and 
wet lands, and which affords space for turning is an excellent 
ground for chariots. 

Positions suitable for all the constituents of the army have 
been treated of. This explains the nature of the ground which is fit 
for the camp or battle of all kinds of the army. 

Concentration on occupied positions, in camps and forests; 
holding the ropes (of beasts and other things) while crossing the 
rivers or when the wind is blowing hard; destruction or protection 
of the commissariat and of troops arriving afresh; supervision of 
the discipline of the army; lengthening the line of the army; 
protecting the sides of the army; first attack; dispersion (of the 
enemy's army); trampling it down; defence; seizing; letting it out; 
causing the army to take a different direction; carrying the treasury 
and the princes; falling against the rear of the enemy; chasing the 
timid; pursuit; and concentration— these constitute the work of 
horses. 

Marching in the front; preparing the roads, camping grounds 
and path for bringing water; protecting the sides; firm standing, 
fording and entering into water while crossing pools of water and 
ascending from them; forced entrance into impregnable places; 
setting or quenching the fire; the subjugation of one of the four 
constituents of the army; gathering the dispersed army; breaking a 
compact army; protection against dangers; trampling down (the 
enemy's army); frightening and driving it; magnificence; seizing; 
abandoning; destruction of walls, gates and towers; and carrying 
the treasury— these constitute the work of elephants. 

Protection of the army; repelling the attack made by all the 

531 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



four constituents of the enemy's army; seizing and abandoning 
(positions) during the time of battle; gathering a dispersed army; 
breaking the compact array of the enemy's army; frightening it; 
magnificence; and fearful noise— these constitute the work of 
chariots. 

Always carrying the weapons to all places; and 
fighting— these constitute the work of the infantry. 

The examination of camps, roads, bridges, wells and rivers; 
carrying the machines, weapons, armours, instruments and 
provisions; carrying away the men that are knocked down, along 
with their weapons and armours— these constitute the work of free 
labourers. 

* The king who has a small number of horses may combine 
bulls with horses; likewise when he is deficient in elephants, he 
may fill up the centre of his army with mules, camels and carts. 
[Thus ends Chapter IV, "Battlefields; the Work of Infantry, 
Cavalry, Chariots and Elephants," in Book X, "Relating to War," 
of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and 
thirty-second chapter from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER V. THE DISTINCTIVE ARRAY OF TROOPS IN 
RFSPECT OF WINGS, FLANKS, AND FRONT; 
DISTINCTION BETWEEN STRONG AND WEAK 
TROOPS; AND BATTLE WITH INFANTRY, CAVALRY, 
CHARIOTS AND ELEPHANTS. 

HAVING fortified a camp at the distance of five hundred 
bows he should begin to fight. Having detached the flower of the 
army and kept it on a favourable position not visible (to the 
enemy), the commander-in-chief and the leader should array the 
rest of the army. The infantry should be arrayed such that the space 

532 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



between any two men is a sama (14 angulas); cavalry with three 
samas; chariots with four samas; and elephants with twice or thrice 
as much space (as between any two chariots). With such an array 
free to move and having no confusion, one should fight. A bow 
means five aratnis (5 x 54 = 120 angulas). Archers should be 
stationed at the distance of five bows (from one line to another); the 
cavalry at the distance of three bows; and chariots or elephants at 
the distance of five bows. 

The intervening space (anikasandhi) between wings, flanks 
and front of the army should be five bows. There must be three men 
to oppose a horse (pratiyoddha); fifteen men or five horses to 
oppose a chariot or an elephant; and as many (fifteen) servants ( 
pddagopa) for a horse, a chariot and an elephant should be 
maintained. 

Three groups (anika) of three chariots each should be 
stationed in front; the same number on the two flanks and the two 
wings. Thus, in an array of chariots, the number of chariots 
amounts to forty-five, two hundred and twenty-five horses, six 
hundred and seventy-five men, and as many servants to attend 
upon the horses, chariots and elephants— this is called an even array 
of troops. The number of chariots in this array (of three groups of 
three chariots each) may be increased by two and two till the 
increased number amounts to twenty-one. Thus, this array of odd 
numbers of chariots gives rise to ten odd varieties. Thus the surplus 
of the army may therefore be distributed in the above manner. 
Two-thirds of the (surplus) chariots may be added to the flanks and 
the wings, the rest being put in front. Thus the added surplus of 
chariots should be one-third less (than the number added to the 
flanks and wings). This explains the distribution of surplus 
elephants and horses. As many horses, chariots, and elephants may 
be added as occasion no confusion in fighting. 



533 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Excess of the army is called surplus (dvdpa); deficiency in 
infantry is called absence of surplus (pratydvdpa); excess of any 
one of the four constituents of the army is akin to surplus 
(anvdvdpa); excess of traitors is far from surplus (atydvdpa); in 
accordance with one's own resources, one should increase one's 
army from four to eight times the excess of the enemy's army or the 
deficiency in the enemy's infantry. 

The array of elephants is explained by the array of chariots. 
An array of elephants, chariots, and horses mixed together may 
also be made: at the extremities of the circle (array), elephants; and 
on the flanks, horses and principal chariots. The array in which the 
front is occupied by elephants, the flanks by chariots, and the 
wings by horses is an array which can break the centre of the 
enemy's army; the reverse of this can harass the extremities of the 
enemy's army. An array of elephants may also be made: the front 
by such elephants as are trained for war; the flanks by such as are 
trained for riding; and the wings by rogue elephants. In an array of 
horses, the front by horses with mail armour; and the flanks and 
wings by horses without armour. In an array of infantry, men 
dressed in mail armour in front, archers in the rear, and men 
without armour on the wings; or horses on the wings, elephants on 
the flanks, and chariots in front; other changes may also be made so 
as to oppose the enemy's army successfully. 

The best army is that which consists of strong infantry and of 
such elephants and horses as are noted for their breed, birth, 
strength, youth, vitality, capacity to run even in old age, fury, skill, 
firmness, magnanimity, obedience, and good habits. 

One-third of the best of infantry, cavalry and elephants should 
be kept in front; two-thirds on both the flanks and wings; the array 
of the army according to the strength of its constituents is in the 
direct order; that which is arrayed mixing one-third of strong and 
weak troops is in the reverse order. Thus, one should know all the 

534 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



varieties of arraying the array. 

Having stationed the weak troops at the extremities, one 
would be liable to the force of the enemy's onslaught. Having 
stationed the flower of the army in front, one should make the 
wings equally strong. One-third of the best in the rear, and weak 
troops in the centre— this array is able to resist the enemy; having 
made an array, he should strike the enemy with one or two of the 
divisions on the wings, flanks, and front, and capture the enemy by 
means of the rest of the troops. 

When the enemy's force is weak, with few horses and 
elephants, and is contaminated with the intrigue of treacherous 
ministers, the conqueror should strike it with most of his best 
troops. He should increase the numerical strength of that 
constituent of the army which is physically weak. He should array 
his troops on that side on which the enemy is weak or from which 
danger is apprehended. 

Running against; running round; running beyond; running 
back; disturbing the enemy's halt; gathering the troops; curving, 
circling, miscellaneous operations; removal of the rear; pursuit of 
the line from the front, flanks and rear; protection of the broken 
army; and falling upon the broken army— these are the forms of 
waging war with horses. 

The same varieties with the exception of (what is called) 
miscellaneous operations; the destruction of the four constituents 
of the army, either single or combined; the dispersion of the flanks, 
wings and front trampling down; and attacking the army when it is 
asleep— these are the varieties of waging war with elephants. 

The same varieties with the exception of disturbing the 
enemy's halt; running against; running back; and fighting from 
where it stands on its own ground— these are the varieties of waging 

535 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



war with chariots. 

Striking in all places and at all times, and striking by surprise 
are varieties of waging war with infantry. 

* In this way, he should make odd or even arrays, keeping the 
strength of the four constituents of the army equal. 

* Having gone to a distance of 200 bows, the king should take his 
position together with the reserve of his army; and without a 
reserve, he should never attempt to fight, for it is by the reserved 
force that dispersed troops are collected together. 

[Thus ends Chapter V, "The Distinctive Array of Troops in 
Respect of Wings, Flanks and Front; Distinction between Strong 
and Weak Troops; and Battle with Infantry, Cavalry, Chariots and 
Elephants," in Book X, "Relating to War," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and thirty-third chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER VI. THE ARRAY OF THE ARMY LIKE A 
STAFF, A SNAKE, A CIRCLE, OR IN DETACHED 
ORDER; THE ARRAY OF THE ARMY AGAINST THAT 
OF AN ENEMY. 

WINGS and front, capable to turn (against an enemy is what 
is called) a snake-like array (bhoga); the two wings, the two flanks, 
the front and the reserve (form an array) according to the school of 
Brihaspati. The principal forms of the array of the army, such as 
that like a staff, like a snake, like a circle, and in detached order, are 
varieties of the above two forms of the array consisting of wings, 
flanks and front. 

536 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Stationing the army so as to stand abreast, is called a 
staff- like array (danda). 

Stationing the army in a line so that one may follow the other, 
is called a snake-like array (bhoga). 

Stationing the army so as to face all the directions, is called a 
circle-like array (mandala). 

Detached arrangement of the army into small bodies so as to 
enable each to act for itself, is termed an array in detached order 
(asamhata). 

That which is of equal strength on its wings, flanks and front, 
is a staff-like array. 

The same array is called pradara (breaking the enemy's array) 
when its flanks are made to project in front. 

The same is called dridhaka (firm) when its wings and flanks 
are stretched back. 

The same is called asahya (irresistible) when its wings are 
lengthened. 

When, having formed the wings, the front is made to bulge 
out, it is called an eagle-like array. 

The same four varieties are called "a bow," "the centre of a 
bow," "a hold," and "a strong hold," when they are arranged in a 
reverse form. 

That, of which the wings are arrayed like a bow, is called 
sanjaya (victory). 



537 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The same with projected front is called vijaya (conqueror); 
that which has its flanks and wings formed like a staff is called 
sthulakarna (big ear); the same with its front made twice as strong 
as the conqueror, is called visdlavijaya (vast victory); that which 
has its wings stretched forward is called chamumukha (face of the 
army); and the same is called ghashdsya (face of the fish) when it is 
arrayed in the reverse form. 

The staff-like array in which one (constituent of the army) is 
made to stand behind the other is called a pin-like array. 

When this array consists of two such lines, it is called an 
aggregate (valaya); and when of four lines, it is called an invincible 
array— these are the varieties of the staff-like array. 

The snake-like array in which the wings, flanks and front are 
of unequal depth is called sarpasdri (serpentine movement), or 
gomutrika (the course of a cow's urine). 

When it consists of two lines in front and has its wings 
arranged as in the staff-like array, it is called a cart-like array; the 
reverse of this is called a crocodile-like array; the cart-like array 
which consists of elephants, horses and chariots is called 
vdripatantaka (?)~these are the varieties of the snake-like array. 

The circle-like array in which the distinction of wings, flanks 
and front is lost is called sarvatomukha (facing all directions), or 
sarvatobhadra (all auspicious), ashtdnika (one of eight divisions), 
or vijaya (victory)— these are the varieties of the circle-like array. 

That, of which the wings, flanks and front are stationed apart 
is called an array in detached order; when five divisions of the 
army are arranged in detached order, it is called vajra (diamond), 
or godha (alligator); when four divisions, it is called udydnaka 

538 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(park), or kdkapadi (crow's foot); when three divisions, it is called 
ardhachandrika (halfmoon), or karkdtakasringi (?)— these are the 
varieties of the array in detached-order. 

The array in which chariots form the front, elephants the 
wings, and horses the rear, is called arishta (auspicious). 

The array in which infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants 
stand one behind the other is called achala (immovable). 

The array in which elephants, horses, chariots and infantry 
stand in order one behind the other is called apratihata 
(invincible). 

Of these, the conqueror should assail the pradara by means 
of the dridhaka; dridhaka by means of the asahya; syena 
(eagle-like array) by means of chdpa (an array like a bow); a hold 
by means of a strong-hold; sanjaya by means of vijaya; 
sthulakarna by means of visdlavijaya; vdripatantaka by means of 
sarvatobhadra. He may assail all kinds of arrays by means of the 
durjaya. 

Of infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants, he should strike 
the first-mentioned with that which is subsequently mentioned; and 
a small constituent of the army with a big one. 

For every ten members of each of the constituents of the 
army, there must be one commander, called padika; ten padikas 
under a sendpati; ten sendpatis under a nayaka, (leader). 

The constituents of the array of the army should be called 
after the names of trumpet sounds, flags and ensigns. Achievement 
of success in arranging the constituents of the army, in gathering 
the forces, in camping, in marching, in turning back, in making 
onslaughts, and in the array of equal strength depends upon the 

539 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



place and time of action. 

* By the display of the army, by secret contrivances, by fiery spies 
employed to strike the enemy engaged otherwise, by witch-craft, 
by proclaiming the conqueror's association with gods, by carts, by 
the ornaments of elephants; 

* By inciting traitors, by herds of cattle, by setting fire to the camp, 
by destroying the wings and the rear of the enemy's army, by 
sowing the seeds of dissension through the agency of men under 
the guise of servants; 

* Or by telling the enemy that his fort was burnt, stormed, or that 
some one of his family, or an enemy or a wild chief rose in 
rebellion— by these and other means the conqueror should cause 
excitement to the enemy. 

* Thearrow shot by an archer may or may not kill a single man; but 
skilful intrigue devised by wise men can kill even those who are in 
the womb. 

[Thus ends Chapter VI, "The Array of the Army like a Staff, a 
Snake, a Circle, or in Detached Order; The Array of the Army 
against that of an Enemy,"in Book X, "Relating to War," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and thirty-fourth 
chapter from the beginning. With this ends the tenth Book 
"Relating to War" of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 
From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 437-453. 



540 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book XI, "The Conduct of 
Corporations" 



CHAPTER I. CAUSES OF DISSENSION; AND SECRET 
PUNISHMENT. 

THE acquisition of the help of corporations is better than the 
acquisition of an army, a friend, or profits. By means of 
conciliation and gifts, the conqueror should secure and enjoy the 
services of such corporations as are invincible to the enemy and are 
favourably disposed towards himself. But those who are opposed 
to him, he should put down by sowing the seeds of dissension 
among them and by secretly punishing them. 

The corporations of warriors (kshattriyasreni) of Kambhoja, 
and Surashtra, and other countries live by agriculture, trade and 
wielding weapons. 

The corporations of Lichchhivika,Vrijika, Mallaka, 
Mudraka, Kukura, Kuru, Panchala and others live by the title of a 
Raja. 

Spies, gaining access to all these corporations and finding out 
jealousy, hatred and other causes of quarrel among them, should 
sow the seeds of a well-planned dissension among them, and tell 
one of them: "This man decries you." Spies, under the guise of 
teachers (dchdrya) should cause childish embroils among those of 
mutual enmity on occasions of disputations about certain points of 
science, arts, gambling or sports. Fiery spies may occasion quarrel 
among the leaders of corporations by praising inferior leaders in 
taverns and theatres; or pretending to be friends, they may excite 

541 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



ambition in the minds of princes by praising their high birth, 
though they (the princes) are low-born; they may prevent the 
superiors from interdining and intermarriage with others; they may 
persuade the superiors to interdine or to intermarry with inferiors; 
or they may give publicity to the consideration of priority shown to 
inferior persons in social intercourse in the face of the established 
custom of recognising the status of other persons by birth, bravery 
and social position; or fiery spies may bring about quarrel among 
them at night by destroying the things, beasts, or persons 
concerned in some legal disputes. In all these disputes, the 
conqueror should help the inferior party with men and money and 
set them against the superior party. When they are divided, he 
should remove them (from their country); or he may gather them 
together and cause them to settle in a cultivable part of their own 
country, under the designation of "five households" and "ten 
households"; for when living together, they can be trained in the art 
of wielding weapons. Specified fines should also be prescribed 
against any treacherous combinations among them. He may install 
as the heir-apparent a prince born of a high family, but dethroned 
or imprisoned. Spies, under the guise of astrologers and others, 
should bring to the notice of the corporations the royal 
characteristics of the prince, and should induce the virtuous leaders 
of the corporations to acknowledge their duty to the prince who is 
the son of such and such a king, and who is the hearer of their 
complaints. To those who are thus prevailed upon, the conqueror 
should send men and money for the purpose of winning over other 
partisans. On occasions of any affray spies under the guise of 
vintners, should, under the plea of the birth of a son, of marriage or 
of the death of a man, distribute as toast (naishechanika) hundreds 
of vessels of liquor adulterated with the juice of madana plant. 
Near the gates of altars (chaitya), temples, and other places under 
the watch of sentinels, spies should pretend to declare their 
agreement (with the enemy of the corporations), their mission, 
their rewards, and bags of money with the golden seals of the 

542 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



enemy; when the corporations appear before the spies, they may 
tell the corporations that they (the spies) have sold themselves to 
the enemy, and challenge the corporations for war. Or having 
seized the draught animals and golden articles belonging to the 
corporations, they may give the most important of those animals 
and articles to the chief of the corporations, and tell the 
corporations, when asked for, that it was given to the chief (for the 
purpose of causing quarrel among them). 

This explains the method of sowing the seeds of dissension in 
camps and among wild tribes. 

Or a spy may tell a self-confident son of the chief of 
corporations: "You are the son of such and such a king and are kept 
here under the apprehension of danger from enemies." When he is 
deluded with this belief, the conqueror may help him with men and 
money and set him against the corporations. When the object in 
view is realised, the conqueror may also banish him. 

Keepers of harlots or dancers, players, and actors may, after 
gaining access, excite love in the minds of the chiefs of 
corporations by exhibiting women endowed with bewitching youth 
and beauty. By causing the woman to go to another person or by 
pretending that another person has violently carried her off, they 
may bring about quarrel among those who love that woman; in the 
ensuing affray, fiery spies may do their work and declare: "Thus 
has he been killed in consequence of his love." 

A woman who has disappointed her lover and has been 
forgiven, may approach a chief and say: "This chief is troubling me 
when my mind is set upon you; when he is alive, I cannot stay 
here," and thus induce the former to slay the latter. 

A woman who has been violently carried off at night may 

543 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



cause the death of her violator in the vicinity of a park or in a 
pleasure house, by means of fiery spies or with poison 
administered by herself. Then she may declare: "This beloved 
person of mine has been killed by such and such a person." 

A spy, under the garb of an ascetic, may apply to a lover such 
medical ointments as are declared to be capable of captivating the 
beloved woman and as are adulterated with poison; and then he 
may disappear. Other spies may ascribe the incident to an enemy's 
action. 

Widows or women, employed as spies with secret 
instructions, may dispute among themselves about the claim for a 
deposit kept with the king, and attract the chiefs of the corporations 
(by their beauty when they present themselves before the king). 

Harlots, or a dancing woman, or a songstress may make an 
appointment to meet a lover in some secret house; and when the 
lover comes to the house with the desire of meeting her there, fiery 
spies may kill him or carry him off bound (in chains). 

A spy may tell the chief of a corporation who is fond of 
women: "In this village, the family of a poor man is bereaved (of 
the householder); his wife deserves to be the wife of a king; seize 
her." Half a month after she has been seized, an ascetic spy may 
accuse the chief in the midst of the corporation by saying: "This 
man has illegally kept my chief wife, or sister-in-law, or sister, or 
daughter." If the corporation punishes the chief, the conqueror may 
take the side of the corporation and set it against wicked persons. 
Fiery spies should always cause an ascetic spy to go abroad at 
night. Spies, selected suitably, should accuse (the chiefs) by 
saying: "This man is the slayer of a Brahman and also the adulterer 
of a Brahman woman." 

A spy, under the guise of an astrologer, may describe to a 

544 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



chief the destiny of a maiden who is at the point of being married to 
another, and say: "This man's daughter deserves to be the wife of a 
king and will bring forth a son, destined to be a king; purchase her 
with all your wealth, or seize her by force." When it is not possible 
to secure her, spies should enrage the parties; but when she is 
secured, quarrel will necessarily ensue. 

A mendicant woman may tell a chief who is fond of his wife: 
"This (another) chief, proud of his youth, has sent me to entice your 
wife; being afraid of him, I have taken with me his letter and 
jewellery (for your wife); your wife: is free from sin; secret steps 
should be taken against him; and I am very anxious (about your 
success)." 

Thus in these and other kinds of brawls which have originated 
of themselves or which have been brought about by spies, the 
conqueror should help the inferior party with men and money and 
set them against the wicked or cause them to migrate (to other parts 
of the country). 

Thus he should live as the only monarch of all the 
corporations; the corporations also, under the protection of such a 
single monarch, should guard themselves against all kinds of 
treachery. 

* The chief of corporations should endear himself to all the 
people by leading a virtuous life, by controlling his passions, and 
by pursuing that course of action which is liked by all those who 
are his followers. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Causes of Dissension, and Secret 
Punishment," in Book XI, "The Conduct of Corporations," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and thirtyfifth chapter 
from the beginning. With this ends the eleventh Book, "The 

545 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Conduct of Corporations," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 455-459. 



546 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book XII, "Concerning a Powerful 

Enemy" 

CHAPTER I. THE DUTIES OF A MESSENGER. 

WHEN a king of poor resources is attacked by a powerful 
enemy, he should surrender himself together with his sons to the 
enemy and live like a reed (in the midst of a current of water). 

Bharadvaja says that he who surrenders himself to the strong, 
bows down before Indra (the god of rain). 

But Visalaksha says that a weak king should rather fight with 
all his resources, for bravery destroys all troubles; this (fighting) is 
the natural duty of a Kshatriya, no matter whether he achieves 
victory or sustains defeat in battle. 

No, says Kautilya, he who bows down to all like a crab on the 
banks (of a river) lives in despair; whoever goes with his small 
army to fight perishes like a man attempting to cross the sea 
without a boat. Hence, a weak king should either seek the 
protection of a powerful king or maintain himself in an 
impregnable fort. 

Invaders are of three kinds: a just conqueror, a demon-like 
conqueror, and a greedy conqueror. 

Of these, the just conqueror is satisfied with mere obeisance. 
Hence, a weak king should seek his protection. 

Fearing his own enemies, the greedy conqueror is satisfied 
with what he can safely gain in land or money. Hence, a weak king 
should satisfy such a conqueror with wealth. 

547 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The demon-like conqueror satisfies himself not merely by 
seizing the land, treasure, sons and wives of the conquered, but by 
taking the life of the latter. Hence, a weak king should keep such a 
conqueror at a distance by offering him land and wealth. 

When any one of these is on the point of rising against a weak 
king, the latter should avert the invasion by making a treaty of 
peace, or by taking recourse to the battle of intrigue 
(mantrayuddha), or by a treacherous fight in the battle-field. He 
may seduce the enemy's men either by conciliation or by giving 
gifts, and should prevent the treacherous proceedings of his own 
men either by sowing the seeds of dissension among them or by 
punishing them. Spies, under concealment, may capture the 
enemy's fort, country, or camp with the aid of weapons, poison, or 
fire. He may harass the enemy's rear on all sides; and he may 
devastate the enemy's country through the help of wild tribes. Or he 
may set up a scion of the enemy's family or an imprisoned prince to 
seize the enemy's territory. When all this mischief has been 
perpetrated, a messenger may be sent to the enemy, (to sue for 
peace); or he may make peace with the enemy without offending 
the latter. If the enemy still continues the march, the weak king 
may sue for peace by offering more than one-fourth of his wealth 
and army, the payment being made after the lapse of a day and 
night. 

If the enemy desires to make peace on condition of the weak 
king surrendering a portion of this army, he may give the enemy 
such of his elephants and cavalry as are uncontrollable or as are 
provided with poison; if the enemy desires to make peace on 
condition of his surrendering his chief men, he may send over to 
the enemy such portion of his army as is full of traitors, enemies 
and wild tribes under the command of a trusted officer, so that both 
his enemy and his own undesirable army may perish; or he may 
provide the enemy with an army composed of fiery spies, taking 

548 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



care to satisfy his own disappointed men (before sending them over 
to the enemy); or he may transfer to the enemy his own faithful and 
hereditary army that is capable to hurt the enemy on occasions of 
trouble; if the enemy desires to make peace on condition of his 
paying certain amount of wealth, he may give the enemy such 
precious articles as do not find a purchaser or such raw products as 
are of no use in war; if the enemy desires to make peace on 
condition of his ceding a part of his land, he should provide the 
enemy with that kind of land which he can recover, which is 
always at the mercy of another enemy, which possesses no 
protective defences, or which can be colonized at considerable cost 
of men and money; or he may make peace, surrendering his whole 
state except his capital. 

* He should so contrive as to make the enemy accept that 
which another enemy is likely to carry off by force; and he should 
take care more of his person than of his wealth, for of what interest 
is perishing wealth? 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "The Duties of a Messenger, and Request for 
Peace," in Book XII, "Concerning a Powerful Enemy," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and thirty-sixth 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER II. BATTLE OF INTRIGUE. 

IF the enemy does not keep peace, he should be told :— 

"These kings perished by surrendering themselves to the 
aggregate of the six enemies; it is not worthy of you to follow the 
lead of these unwise kings; be mindful of virtue and wealth; those 

549 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



who advise you to brave danger, sin and violation of wealth, are 
enemies under the guise of friends; it is danger to fight with men 
who are reckless of their own lives; it is sin to cause the loss of life 
on both sides; it is violation of wealth to abandon the wealth at 
hand and the friend of no mean character (meaning the addresser 
himself); that king has many friends whom he will set against you 
with the same wealth (that is acquired with your help at my 
expense), and who will fall upon you from all sides; that king has 
not lost his influence over the Circle of the madhyama and neutral 
States; but you have lost that power over them who are, therefore, 
waiting for an opportunity to fall upon you; patiently bear the loss 
of men and money again; break peace with that friend; then we 
shall be able to remove him from that stronghold over which he has 
lost his influence. Hence, it is not worthy of you to lend your ear to 
those enemies with the face of friends, to expose your real friends 
to trouble, to help your enemies to attain success, and to involve 
yourself in dangers costing life and wealth." 

If without caring for the advice, the enemy proceeds on his 
own way, the weak king should create disaffection among the 
enemy's people by adopting such measures as are explained in the 
chapters, "The Conduct of Corporations," and "Enticement of the 
enemy by secret contrivances." He should also make use of fiery 
spies and poison. Against what is described as deserving protection 
in the chapter, "Safety of his own person," fiery spies and poisoners 
should be employed (in the enemy's court). Keepers of harlots 
should excite love in the minds of the leaders of the enemy's army 
by exhibiting women endowed with youth and beauty. Fiery spies 
should bring about quarrels among them when one or two of them 
have fallen in love. In the affray that ensues they should prevail 
upon the defeated party to migrate elsewhere or to proceed to help 
the master (of the spies) in the invasion undertaken by the latter. 

Or to those who have fallen in love, spies, under the guise of 

550 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



ascetics, may administer poison under the plea that the medical 
drugs given to them are capable of securing the object of love. 

A spy, under the guise of a merchant, may, under the plea of 
winning the love of an immediate maid- servant of the beautiful 
queen (of the enemy), shower wealth upon her and then give her 
up. A spy in the service of the merchant may give to another spy, 
employed as a servant of the maid-servant, some medical drug, 
telling the latter that (in order to regain the love of the merchant), 
the drug may be applied to the person of the merchant (by the 
maid-servant). On her attaining success (the maid-servant) may 
inform the queen that the same drug may be applied to the person 
of the king (to secure his love), and then change the drug for 
poison. 

A spy, under the guise of an astrologer, may gradually delude 
the enemy's prime minister with the belief that he is possessed of 
all the physiognomical characteristics of a king; a mendicant 
woman may tell the minister's wife that she has the characteristics 
of a queen and that she will bring forth a prince; or a woman, 
disguised as the minister's wife, may tell him that, "The king is 
troubling me; and an ascetic woman has brought to me this letter 
and jewellery." 

Spies, under the guise of cooks, may, under the pretence of 
the king's (the enemy's) order, take some covetable wealth (to the 
minister) meant for use in an immediate expedition. A spy under 
the guise of a merchant may, by some contrivance or other, take 
possession of that wealth and inform the minister of the readiness 
of all the preparations (for the expedition). Thus by the 
employment of one, two, or three of the strategic means, the 
ministers of each of the combined enemies may be induced to set 
out on the expedition and thus to be away from the inimical kings. 



551 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Spies, under the service of the officer in charge of the enemy's 
waste lands, may inform the citizens and country people residing in 
the enemy's fortified towns of the condition of the officer's 
friendship with the people, and say: "The officer in charge of the 
waste lands tells the warriors and departmental officers thus:— 'The 
king has hardly escaped from danger and scarcely returns with life. 
Do not hoard up your wealth and thereby create enemies; if so, you 
will all be put to death.'" When all the people are collected 
together, fiery spies may take the citizens out of the town and kill 
their leaders, saying: "Thus will be treated those who do not hear 
the officer in charge of the waste lands." On the waste lands under 
the charge of the officer, the spies may throw down weapons, 
money and ropes bespattered with blood. Then other spies may 
spread the news that the officer in charge of the waste lands 
destroys the people and plunders them. Similarly, spies may cause 
disagreement between the enemy's collector-general and the 
people. Addressing the servants of the collector-general in the 
centre of the village at night, fiery spies may say: "Thus will be 
treated those who subject the people to unjust oppression." When 
the fault of the collector-general or of the officer in charge of the 
waste lands is widely known, the spies may cause the people to 
slay either of them, and employ in his place one of his family or 
one who is imprisoned. 

* Spreading the false news of the danger of the enemy, they 
(spies) may set fire to the harem, the gates of the town and the 
store-house of grains and other things, and slay the sentinels who 
are kept to guard them. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "The Duties of a Messenger and Battle of 
Intrigue," in Book XII, "Concerning a Powerful Enemy," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of "Battle of Intrigue." End of the 
hundred and thirty-seventh chapter from the beginning.] 



552 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



CHAPTER III. SLAYING THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 
AND INCITING A CIRCLE OF STATES. 

SPIES in the service of the king (the enemy) or of his 
courtiers may, under the pretence of friendship, say in the presence 
of other friends that the king is angry with the chiefs of infantry, 
cavalry, chariots and elephants. When their men are collected 
together, fiery spies, having guarded themselves against night 
watches, may, under the pretence of the king's (the enemy's) order, 
invite the chiefs to a certain house and slay the chiefs when 
returning from the house. Other spies in the vicinity may say that it 
has been the king's (the enemy's) order to slay them. Spies may also 
tell those who have been banished from the country: "This is just 
what we foretold; for personal safety, you may go elsewhere." 

Spies may also tell those who have not received what they 
requested of the king (the enemy) that the officer in charge of waste 
lands has been told by the king: "Such and such a person has 
begged of me what he should not demand; I refused to grant his 
request; he is in conspiracy with my enemy. So make attempts to 
put him down." Then the spies may proceed in their usual way. 

Spies may also tell those who have been granted their request 
by the king (the enemy) that the officer in charge of waste lands has 
been told by the king: "Such and such persons have demanded their 
due from me; I have granted them all their requests in order to gain 
their confidence. But they are conspiring with my enemy. So make 
attempts to put them down." Then the spies may proceed in their 
usual way. 

Spies may also tell those who do not demand their due from 
the king that the officer in charge of waste lands has been told: 
"Such and such persons do not demand their due from me. What 

553 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



else can be the reason than their suspicion about my knowledge of 
their guilt? So make attempts to put them down." Then the spies 
may proceed in their usual way. 

This explains the treatment of partisans. 

A spy employed as the personal servant of the king (the 
enemy) may inform him that such and such ministers of his are 
being interviewed by the enemy's servants. When he comes to 
believe this, some treacherous persons may be represented as the 
messengers of the enemy, specifying as "this is that." 

The chief officers of the army may be induced by offering 
land and gold to fall against their own men and secede from the 
enemy (their king). If one of the sons of the commander-in-chief is 
living near or inside the fort, a spy may tell him: "You are the most 
worthy son; still you are neglected; why are you indifferent? Seize 
your position by force; otherwise the heir-apparent will destroy 
you." 

Or some one of the family (of the commander-in-chief or the 
king), or one who is imprisoned may be bribed in gold and told: 
"Destroy the internal strength of the enemy, or a portion of his 
force in the border of his country." 

Or having seduced wild tribes with rewards of wealth and 
honour, they may be incited to devastate the enemy's country. Or 
the enemy's rear-enemy may be told : "I am, as it were, a bridge to 
you all; if I am broken like a rafter, this king will drown you all; let 
us, therefore, combine and thwart the enemy in his march." 
Accordingly, a message may be sent to individual or combined 
states to the effect : "After having done with me, this king will do 
his work of you: beware of it. I am the best man to be relied upon." 



554 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* In order to escape from the danger from an immediate 
enemy, a king should frequently send to a madhyama or a neutral 
king (whatever would please him); or one may put one's whole 
property at the enemy's disposal. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "Slaying the Commander-in-Chief and 
Inciting a Circle of States," in Book XII, "Concerning a Powerful 
Enemy," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and 
thirty-eighth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. SPIES WITH WEAPONS, FIRE, AND 
POISON; AND DESTRUCTION OF SUPPLY, STORES 
AND GRANARIES. 

THE conqueror's spies who are residing as traders in the 
enemy's forts, and those who are living as cultivators in the 
enemy's villages, as well as those who are living as cowherds or 
ascetics in the district borders of the enemy's country may send 
through merchants, information to another neighbouring enemy, or 
a wild chief, or a scion of the enemy's family, or an imprisoned 
prince that the enemy's country is to be captured. When their secret 
emissaries come as invited, they are to be pleased with rewards of 
wealth and honour and shewn the enemy's weak points; and with 
the help of the emissaries, the spies should strike the enemy at his 
weak points. 

Or having put a banished prince in the enemy's camp; a spy 
disguised as a vintner in the service of the enemy, may distribute as 
a toast hundreds of vessels of liquor mixed with the juice of the 
madana plant; or, for the first day, he may distribute a mild or 
intoxicating variety of liquor, and on the following days such 
liquor as is mixed with poison; or having given pure liquor to the 

555 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



officers of the enemy's army, he may give them poisoned liquor 
when they are in intoxication. 

A spy, employed as a chief officer of the enemy's army, may 
adopt the same measures as those employed by the vintner. 

Spies, disguised as experts in trading in cooked flesh, cooked 
rice, liquor, and cakes, may vie with each other in proclaiming in 
public the sale of a fresh supply of their special articles at cheap 
price and may sell the articles mixed with poison to the attracted 
customers of the enemy. 

Women and children may receive in their poisoned vessels, 
liquor, milk, curd, ghee, or oil from traders in those articles, and 
pour those fluids back into the vessels of the traders, saying that at 
a specified rate the whole may be sold to them. Spies, disguised as 
merchants, may purchase the above articles, and may so contrive 
that servants, attending upon the elephants and horses of the 
enemy, may make use of the same articles in giving rations and 
grass to those animals. Spies, under the garb of servants, may sell 
poisoned grass and water. Spies, let off as traders in cattle for a 
long time, may leave herds of cattle, sheep, or goats in tempting 
places so as to divert the attention of the enemy from the attack 
which they (the enemy) intend to make; spies as cowherds may let 
off such animals as are ferocious among horses, mules, camels, 
buffaloes and others beasts, having smeared the eyes of those 
animals with the blood of a musk-rat (chuchundari); spies as 
hunters may let off cruel beasts from traps; spies as snake charmers 
may let off highly poisonous snakes; those who keep elephants 
may let off elephants (near the enemy's camp); those who live by 
making use of fire may set fire (to the camp, etc.). Secret spies may 
slay from behind the chiefs of infantry, cavalry, chariots and 
elephants, or they may set fire to the chief residences of the enemy. 
Traitors, enemies and wild tribes, employed for the purpose, may 

556 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



destroy the enemy's rear or obstruct his reinforcement; or spies, 
concealed in forests, may enter into the border of the enemy's 
country, and devastate it; or they may destroy the enemy's supply, 
stores, and other things, when those things are being conveyed on a 
narrow path passable by a single man. 

Or in accordance with a preconcerted plan, they may, on the 
occasion of a night-battle, go to the enemy's capital, and blowing a 
large number of trumpets, cry aloud: "We have entered into the 
capital, and the country has been conquered." After entering into 
the king's (the enemy's) palace, they may kill the king in the tumult; 
when the king begins to run from one direction to another, 
Mlechchhas, wild tribes, or chiefs of the army, lying in ambush 
(sattra), or concealed near a pillar or a fence, may slay him; or 
spies, under the guise of hunters, may slay the king when he is 
directing his attack, or in the tumult of attack following the plan of 
treacherous fights. Or occupying an advantageous position, they 
may slay the enemy when he is marching in a narrow path passable 
by a single man, or on a mountain, or near the trunk of a tree, or 
under the branches of a banian tree, or in water; or they may cause 
him to be carried off by the force of a current of water let off by the 
destruction of a dam across a river, or of a lake or pond; or they 
may destroy him by means of an explosive fire or poisonous snake 
when he has entrenched himself in a fort, in a desert, in a forest, or 
in a valley. He should be destroyed with fire when he is under a 
thicket; with smoke when he is in a desert; with poison when he is 
in a comfortable place; with crocodile and other cruel beasts when 
he is in water; or they may slay him when he is going out of his 
burning house. 

* By means of such measures as are narrated in the chapter, 
"Enticement of the Enemy by Secret Means" or by any other 
measures, the enemy should be caught hold of in places to which 
he is confined or from which he is attempting to escape. 

557 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



[Thus ends Chapter IV, "Spies with Weapons, Fire and Poison; and 
Destruction of Supply, Stores and Granaries," in Book XII, 
"Concerning a Powerful Enemy," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. 
End of the hundred and thirty-ninth chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. CAPTURE OF THE ENEMY BY MEANS OF 
SECRET CONTRIVANCES OR BY MEANS OF THE 
ARMY; AND COMPLETE VICTORY. 

CONTRIVANCES to kill the enemy may be formed in those 
places of worship and visit, which the enemy, under the influence 
of faith, frequents on occasions of worshipping gods, and of 
pilgrimage. 

A wall or a stone, kept by mechanical contrivance, may, by 
loosening the fastenings, be let to fall on the head of the enemy 
when he has entered into a temple; stones and weapons may be 
showered over his head from the topmost storey; or a door-panel 
may be let to fall; or a huge rod kept over a wall or partly attached 
to a wall may be made to fall over him; or weapons kept inside the 
body of an idol may be thrown over his head; or the floor of those 
places where he usually stands, sits, or walks may be be sprinkled 
with poison mixed with cow-dung or with pure water; or under the 
plea of giving him flowers, scented powders, or of causing scented 
smoke, he may be poisoned; or by removing the fastenings made 
under a cot or a seat, he may be made to fall into a pit containing 
pointed spears; or when he is eager to escape from impending 
imprisonment in his own country, he may be led away to fall into 
the hands of a wild tribe or an enemy waiting for him not far from 
his country; or when he is eager to get out of his castle he may be 
like-wise misled or made to enter an enemy's country which is to 

558 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



be restored (to the conqueror); the enemy's people should also be 
kept under the protection of sons and brothers (of the conqueror) in 
some forts on a mountain, or in a forest, or in the midst of a river 
separated from the enemy's country by wild tracts of lands. 

Measures to obstruct the movements of the enemy are 
explained in the chapter, "The Conduct of a Conquered King." 

Grass and firewood should be set on fire as far as a yojana (5 
5/44 miles); water should be vitiated and caused to flow away; 
mounds, wells, pits and thorns (outside the fort wall) should be 
destroyed; having widened the mouth of the underground tunnel of 
the enemy's fort, his stores and leaders may be removed; the enemy 
may also be likewise carried off; when the underground tunnel has 
been made by the enemy for his own use, the water in the ditch 
outside the fort may be made to flow into it; in suspicious places 
along the parapet (of the enemy's fort) and in the house containing 
a well outside the fort, empty pots or bronze vessels may be placed 
in order to find out the direction of the wind (blowing from the 
underground tunnel); when the direction of the tunnel is found out, 
a counter-tunnel may be formed; or having opened the tunnel, it 
may be filled with smoke or water. 

Having arranged for the defence of the fort by a scion of his 
family, the enemy may run in an opposite direction where it is 
possible for him to meet with friends, relatives, or wild tribes, or 
with his enemy's treacherous friends of vast resources, or where he 
may separate his enemy from the latter's friends, or where he may 
capture the enemy's rear, or country, or where he may prevent the 
transport of supplies to his enemy, or whence he may strike his 
enemy by throwing down trees at hand, or where he can find means 
to defend his own country or to gather reinforcements for his 
hereditary army; or he may go to any other country whence he can 
obtain peace on his own terms. 

559 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



His enemy's (the conqueror's) allies may send a mission to 
him, saying: "This man, your enemy, has fallen into our hands; 
under the plea of merchandise or some presentation, send gold and 
a strong force; we shall either hand over to you your enemy bound 
in chains, or banish him." If he approves of it, the gold and the 
army he may send may be received (by the conqueror). 

Having access to the enemy's castle, the officer in charge of 
the boundaries (of the enemy's country) may lead a part of his force 
and slay the enemy in good faith under the plea of destroying a 
people in some place, he may take the enemy to an inimical army; 
and having led the enemy to the surrounded place, he may slay the 
enemy in good faith. 

A pretending friend may send information to an outsider: 
"Grains, oil and jaggery and salt stored in the fort (of the enemy) 
have been exhausted; a fresh supply of them is expected to reach 
the fort at such and such a place and time; seize it by force." Then 
traitors, enemies, or wild tribes, or some other persons, specially 
appointed for the purpose, may send a supply of poisoned grains, 
oil, jaggery, and salt to the fort. This explains the seizure of all 
kinds of supply. 

Having made peace with the conqueror, he may give the 
conqueror part of the gold promised and the rest gradually. Thus he 
may cause the conqueror's defensive force to be slackened and then 
strike them down with fire, poison or sword; or he may win the 
confidence of the conqueror's courtiers deputed to take the tribute. 

Or if his resources are exhausted, he may run away 
abandoning his fort; he may escape through a tunnel or through a 
hole newly made or by breaking the parapet. 

Or having challenged the conqueror at night, he may 

560 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



successfully confront the attack; if he cannot do this, he may run 
away by a side path; or disguised as a heretic, he may escape with a 
small retinue; or he may be carried off by spies as a corpse; or 
disguised as a woman, he may follow a corpse (as it were, of her 
husband to the cremation ground); or on the occasion of feeding 
the people in honour of gods or of ancestors or in some festival, he 
may make use of poisoned rice and water, and having conspired 
with his enemy's traitors, he may strike the enemy with his 
concealed army; or when he is surrounded in his fort, he may lie 
concealed in a hole bored into the body of an idol after eating 
sacramental food and setting up an altar; or he may lie in a secret 
hole in a wall, or in a hole made in the body of an idol in an 
underground chamber; and when he is forgotten, he may get out of 
his concealment through a tunnel, and, entering into the palace, 
slay his enemy while sleeping, or loosening the fastenings of a 
machine (yantra), he may let it fall on his enemy; or when his 
enemy is lying in a chamber which is besmeared with poisonous 
and explosive substances or which is made of lac, he may set fire to 
it. Fiery spies, hidden in an underground chamber, or in a tunnel, or 
inside a secret wall, may slay the enemy when the latter is 
carelessly amusing himself in a pleasure park or any other place of 
recreation; or spies under concealment may poison him; or women 
under concealment may throw a snake, or poison, or fire or 
poisonous smoke over his person when he is asleep in confined 
place; or spies, having access to the enemy's harem, may, when 
opportunities occur, do to the enemy whatever is found possible on 
the occasion, and then get out unknown. On such occasions, they 
should make use of the signs indicative of the purpose of their 
society. 

* Having by means of trumpet sounds called together the 
sentinels at the gate as well as aged men and other spies stationed 
by others, the enemy may completely carry out the rest of his work. 
[Thus ends Chapter V, "Capture of the Enemy by Means of Secret 



561 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Contrivances or by Means of the Army; and Complete Victory," in 
Book XII, "Concerning a Powerful Enemy," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and fortieth chapter from the 
beginning. With this ends the twelfth Book, "Concerning a 
Powerful Enemy," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 



From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 461-474. 



562 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book XIII, "Strategic Means to 
Capture a Fortress" 

CHAPTER I. SOWING THE SEEDS OF DISSENSION. 

WHEN the conqueror is desirous of seizing an enemy's 
village, he should infuse enthusiastic spirit among his own men 
and frighten his enemy's people by giving publicity to his power of 
omniscience and close association with gods. 

Proclamation of his omniscience is as follows:— rejection of 
his chief officers when their secret, domestic and other private 
affairs are known; revealing the names of traitors after receiving 
information from spies specially employed to find out such men; 
pointing out the impolitic aspect of any course of action suggested 
to him; and pretensions to the knowledge of foreign affairs by 
means of his power to read omens and signs invisible to others 
when information about foreign affairs is just received through a 
domestic pigeon which has brought a sealed letter. 

Proclamation of his association with gods is as 
follows:— Holding conversation with, and worshipping, the spies 
who pretend to be the gods of fire or altar when through a tunnel 
they come to stand in the midst of fire, altar, or in the interior of a 
hollow image; holding conversation with, and worshipping, the 
spies who rise up from water and pretend to be the gods and 
goddesses of Ndgas (snakes); placing under water at night a mass 
of sea-foam mixed with burning oil, and exhibiting it as the 
spontaneous outbreak of fire, when it is burning in a line; sitting on 
a raft in water which is secretly fastened by a rope to a rock; such 
magical performance in water as is usually done at night by bands 

563 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



of magicians, using the sack of abdomen or womb of water animals 
to hide the head and the nose, and applying to the nose the oil, 
prepared from the entrails of red spotted deer and the serum of the 
flesh of the crab, crocodile, porpoise and otter; holding 
conversation, as though, with women of Varuna (the god of water), 
or of Ndga (the snake-god) when they are performing magical 
tricks in water; and sending out volumes of smoke from the mouth 
on occasions of anger. 

Astrologers, sooth-sayers, horologists, story-tellers, 
(Paurdnika), as well as those who read the forebodings of every 
moment, together with spies and their disciples, inclusive of those 
who have witnessed the wonderful performances of the conqueror 
should give wide publicity to the power of the king to associate 
with gods throughout his territory. Likewise in foreign countries, 
they should spread the news of gods appearing before the 
conqueror and of his having received from heaven weapons and 
treasure. Those who are well versed in horary and astrology and the 
science of omens should proclaim abroad that the conqueror is a 
successful expert in explaining the indications of dreams and in 
understanding the language of beasts and birds. They should not 
only attribute the contrary to his enemy, but also show to the 
enemy's people the shower of firebrand (ulkd) with the noise of 
drums (from the sky) on the day of the birth- star of the enemy. 

The conqueror's chief messengers, pretending to be friendly 
towards the enemy, should highly speak of the conqueror's 
respectful treatment of visitors, of the strength of his army, and of 
the likelihood of impending destruction of his enemy's men. They 
should also make it known to the enemy that under their master, 
both ministers and soldiers are equally safe and happy, and that 
their master treats his servants with parental care in their weal or 
woe. 



564 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



By these and other means, they should win over the enemy's 
men as pointed out above, and as we are going to treat of them 
again at length:— 

They should characterise the enemy as an ordinary donkey 
towards skilful persons; as the branch of lakucha (Artocarpus 
Lacucha) broken to the officers of his army; as a crab on the shore 
to anxious persons; as a downpour of lightnings to those who are 
treated with contempt; as a reed, a barren tree, or an iron ball, or as 
false clouds to those who are disappointed; as the ornaments of an 
ugly woman to those who are disappointed in spite of their 
worshipful service; as a tiger's skin, or as a trap of death to his 
favourites; and as eating a piece of the wood of pilu 
(Careya-Arborea), or as churning the milk of a she-camel or a 
she-donkey (for butter) to those who are rendering to him valuable 
help. 

When the people of the enemy are convinced of this, they 
may be sent to the conqueror to receive wealth and, honour. Those 
of the enemy who are in need of money and food should be 
supplied with an abundance of those things. Those who do not like 
to receive such things may be presented with ornaments for their 
wives and children. 

When the people of the enemy are suffering from famine and 
the oppression of thieves and wild tribes, the conqueror's spies 
should sow the seeds of dissension among them, saying: "Let us 
request the king for favour and go elsewhere if not favoured." 

* When they agree to such proposals, they should be supplied 
with money, grains, and other necessary help: thus, much can be 
done by sowing the seeds of dissension. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Sowing the Seeds of Dissension," in Book 

565 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



XIII, "Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress" of the Arthasdstra, of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-first chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER II. ENTICEMENT OF KINGS BY SECRET 
CONTRIVANCES. 

AN ascetic, with shaved head or braided hair and living in the 
cave of a mountain, may pretend to be four hundred years old, and, 
followed by a number of disciples with braided hair, halt in the 
vicinity of the capital city of the enemy. The disciples of the ascetic 
may make presentations of roots and fruits to the king and his 
ministers and invite them to pay a visit to the venerable ascetic. On 
the arrival of the king on the spot, the ascetic may acquaint him 
with the history of ancient kings and their states, and tell him: 
"Every time when I complete the course of a hundred years, I enter 
into the fire and come out of it as a fresh youth {bald). Now, here in 
your presence, I am going to enter into the fire for the fourth time. 
It is highly necessary that you may be pleased to honour me with 
your presence at the time. Please request three boons." When the 
king agrees to do so, he may be requested to come and remain at 
the spot with his wives and children for seven nights to witness the 
sacrificial performance. When he does so, he may be caught hold 
of. 

An ascetic, with shaved head or braided hair, and followed by 
a number of disciples with shaved heads or braided hair, and 
pretending to be aware of whatever is contained in the interior of 
the earth, may put in the interior of an ant-hill either a bamboo stick 
wound round with a piece of cloth drenched in blood and painted 
with gold dust, or a hollow golden tube into which a snake can 

566 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



enter and remain. One of the disciples may tell the king: "This 
ascetic can discover blooming treasure trove." When he asks the 
ascetic (as to the veracity of the statement), the latter should 
acknowledge it, and produce a confirmatory evidence (by pulling 
out the bamboo stick); or having kept some more gold in the 
interior of the ant-hill, the ascetic may tell the king: "This treasure 
trove is guarded by a snake and can possibly be taken out by 
performing necessary sacrifice. When the king agrees to do so, he 
may be requested to come and remain. . . (as before). 

When an ascetic, pretending to be able to find out hidden 
treasure trove, is seated with his body burning with magical fire at 
night in a lonely place, his disciples may bring the king to see him 
and inform the king that the ascetic can find out treasure trove. 
While engaged in performing some work at the request of the king, 
the latter may be requested to come and remain at the spot for 
seven nights ... (as before). 

An accomplished ascetic may beguile a king by his 
knowledge of the science of magic known as jambhaka, and 
request him to come and remain ... (as before). 

An accomplished ascetic, pretending to have secured the 
favour of the powerful guardian deity of the country, may often 
beguile the king's chief ministers with his wonderful performance 
and gradually impose upon the king. 

Any person, disguised as an ascetic and living under water or 
in the interior of an idol entered into through a tunnel or an 
underground chamber, may be said by his disciples to be Varuna, 
the god of water, or the king of snakes, and shown to the king. 
While going to accomplish whatever the king may desire, the latter 
may be requested to come and remain ... (as before.) 



567 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



An accomplished ascetic, halting in the vicinity of the capital 
city, may invite the king to witness the person (of his enemy) when 
he comes to witness the invocation of his enemy's life in the image 
to be destroyed, he may be murdered in an unguarded place. 

Spies, under the, guise of merchants come to sell horses, may 
invite the king to examine and purchase any of the animals. While 
attentively examining the horses, he may be murdered in the tumult 
or trampled down by horses. 

Getting into an altar at night in the vicinity of the capital city 
of the enemy and blowing through tubes or hollow reeds the fire 
contained in a few pots, some fiery spies may shout aloud: "We are 
going to eat the flesh of the king or of his ministers; let the worship 
of the gods go on." Spies, under the guise of sooth-sayers and 
horologists may spread the news abroad. 

Spies, disguised as Nagas (snake-gods and with their body 
besmeared with burning oil (tejdnataila), may stand in the centre 
of a sacred pool of water or of a lake at night, and sharpening their 
iron swords or spikes, may shout aloud as before. 

Spies, wearing coats formed of the skins of bears and sending 
out volumes of smoke from their mouth, may pretend to be 
demons, and after circumambulating the city thrice from right to 
left, may shout aloud as before at a place full of the horrid noise of 
antelopes and jackals; or spies may set fire to an altar or an image 
of a god covered with a layer of mica besmeared with burning oil at 
night, and shout aloud as before. Others may spread this news 
abroad; or they may cause (by some contrivance or other) blood to 
flow out in floods from revered images of gods. Others may spread 
this news abroad and challenge any bold or brave man to come out 
to witness this flow of divine blood. Whoever accepts the 
challenge may be beaten to death by others with rods, making the 
people believe that he was killed by demons. Spies and other 

568 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



witnesses may inform the king of this wonder. Then spies, 
disguised as sooth-sayers and astrologers may prescribe auspicious 
and expiatory rites to avert the evil consequences which would 
otherwise overtake the king and his country. When the king agrees 
to the proposal he may be asked to perform in person special 
sacrifices and offerings with special mantras every night for seven 
days. Then (while doing this, he may be slain) as before. 

In order to delude other kings, the conqueror may himself 
undertake the performance of expiatory rites to avert such evil 
consequences as the above and thus set an example to others. 

In view of averting the evil consequences of unnatural 
occurrences, he (the conqueror) may collect money (from his 
subjects). 

When the enemy is fond of elephants, spies may delude him 
with the sight of a beautiful elephant reared by the officer in charge 
of elephant forests. When he desires to capture the elephant, he 
may be taken to a remote desolate part of the forest, and killed or 
carried off as a prisoner. This explains the fate of kings addicted to 
hunting. 

When the enemy is fond of wealth or women, he may be 
beguiled at the sight of rich and beautiful widows brought before 
him with a plaint for the recovery of a deposit kept by them in the 
custody of one of their kinsmen; and when he comes to meet with a 
woman at night as arranged, hidden spies may kill him with 
weapons or poison. 

When the enemy is in the habit of paying frequent visits to 
ascetics, altars, sacred pillars (stupa), and images of gods, spies 
hidden in underground chambers or in subterranean passages, or 
inside the walls, may strike him down. 



569 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



* Whatever may be the sights or spectacles which the king goes in 
person to witness; wherever he may engage himself in sports or in 
swimming in water; 

* Wherever he may be careless in uttering such words of rebuke as 
"Tut" or on the occasions of sacrificial performance or during the 
accouchement of women or at the time of death or disease (of some 
person in the palace), or at the time of love, sorrow, or fear; 

* Whatever may be the festivities of his own men, which the king 
goes to attend, wherever he is unguarded or during a cloudy day, or 
in the tumultuous concourse of people; 

* Or in an assembly of Brdhmans, or whenever he may go in 
person to see the outbreak of fire, or when, he is in a lonely place, 
or when he is putting on dress or ornaments, or garlands of flower, 
or when he is lying in his bed or sitting on a seat; 

* Or when he is eating or drinking, on these and other occasions, 
spies, together with other persons previously hidden at those 
places, may strike him down at the sound of trumpets. 

*And they may get out as secretly as they came there with the 
pretence of witnessing the sights; thus it is that kings and other 
persons are enticed to come out and be captured. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Enticement of Kings by Secret 
Contrivances," in Book XIII, "Strategic means to Capture a 
Fortress," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and 
forty-second chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. THE WORK OF SPIES IN A SIEGE. 

THE conqueror may dismiss a confidential chief of a 
corporation. The chief may go over to the enemy as a friend and 

570 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



offer to supply him with recruits and other help collected from the 
conqueror's territory or followed by a band of spies, the chief may 
please the enemy by destroying a disloyal village or a regiment or 
an ally of the conqueror and by sending as a present the elephants, 
horses, and disaffected persons of the conqueror's army or of the 
latter's ally; or a confidential chief officer of the conqueror may 
solicit help from a portion of the territory (of the enemy), or from a 
corporation of people (sreni) or from wild tribes; and when he has 
gained their confidence, he may send them down to the conqueror 
to be routed down on the occasion of a farcical attempt to capture 
elephants or wild tribes. 

This explains the work of ministers and wild chiefs under the 
mission of the conqueror. 

After making peace with the enemy, the conqueror may 
dismiss his own confidential ministers. They may request the 
enemy to reconcile them to their master. When the enemy sends a 
messenger for this purpose, the conqueror may rebuke him and 
say: "Thy master attempts to sow the seeds of dissension between 
myself and my ministers; so thou should not come here again." 
Then one of the dismissed ministers may go over to the enemy, 
taking with him a band of spies, disaffected people, traitors, brave 
thieves, and wild tribes who make no distinction between a friend 
and a foe. Having secured the good graces of the enemy, the 
minister may propose to him the destruction of his officers, such as 
the boundary-guard, wild chief, and commander of his army, 
telling him: "These and other persons are in concert with your 
enemy." Then these persons may be put to death under the 
unequivocal orders of the enemy. 

The conqueror may tell his enemy: "A chief with a powerful 
army means to offend us, so let us combine and put him down; you 
may take possession of his treasury or territory." When the enemy 
agrees to the proposal and comes out honoured by the conqueror, 

571 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



he may be slain in a tumult or in an open battle with the chief (in 
concert with the conqueror). Or having invited the enemy to be 
present as a thick friend on the occasion of a pretended gift of 
territory, or the installation of the heir-apparent, or the performance 
of some expiatory rites, the conqueror may capture the enemy. 
Whoever withstands such inducements may be slain by secret 
means. If the enemy refuses to meet any man in person, then also 
attempts may be made to kill him by employing his enemy. If the 
enemy likes to march alone with his army, but not in company with 
the conqueror, then he may be hemmed in between two forces and 
destroyed. If, trusting to none, he wants to march alone in order to 
capture a portion of the territory of an assailable enemy, then he 
may be slain by employing one of his enemies or any other person 
provided with all necessary help. When he goes to his subdued 
enemy for the purpose of collecting an army, his capital may be 
captured. Or he may be asked to take possession of the territory of 
another enemy or a friend of the conqueror; and when he goes to 
seize the territory, the conqueror may ask his (the conqueror's) 
friend to offend him (the conqueror), and then enable the friend to 
catch hold of the enemy. These and other contrivances lead to the 
same end. 

When the enemy is desirous of taking possession of the 
territory of the conqueror's friend, then the conqueror may, under 
the pretence of compliance, supply the enemy with army. Then 
having entered into a secret concert with the friend, the conqueror 
may pretend to be under troubles and allow himself to be attacked 
by the enemy combined with the neglected friend. Then, hemmed 
from two sides, the enemy may be killed or captured alive to 
distribute his territory among the conqueror and his friend. 

If the enemy, helped by his friend, shuts himself in an 
impregnable fort, then his neighbouring enemies may be employed 
to lay waste his territory. If he attempts to defend his territory by 

572 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



his army, that army may be annihilated. If the enemy and his ally 
cannot be separated, then each of these may be openly asked to 
come to an agreement with the conqueror to seize the territory of 
the other. Then they will, of course, send such of their messengers 
as are termed friends and recipients of salaries from two states to 
each other with information: "This king (the conqueror), allied 
with my army, desires to seize thy territory." Then one of them 
may, with enragement and suspicion, act as before (i.e., fall upon 
the conqueror or the friend). 

The conqueror may dismiss his chief officers in charge of his 
forests, country parts, and army, under the pretence of their 
intrigue with the enemy. Then going over to 'the enemy, they may 
catch hold of him on occasions of war, siege, or any other troubles; 
or they may sow the seeds of dissension between the enemy and his 
party, corroborating the causes of dissension by producing 
witnesses specially tutored. 

Spies, disguised as hunters, may take a stand near the gate of 
the enemy's fort to sell flesh, and make friendship with the 
sentinels at the gate. Having informed the enemy of the arrival of 
thieves on two or three occasions, they may prove themselves to be 
of reliable character and cause him to split his army into two 
divisions and to station them in two different parts of his territory. 
When his villages are being plundered or besieged, they may tell 
him that thieves are come very near, that the tumult is very great, 
and that a large army is required. They may take the army supplied, 
and surrendering it to the commander laying waste the villages, 
return at night with a part of the commander's army, and cry aloud 
at the gate of the fort that the thieves are slain, that the army has 
returned victorious, and that the gate may be opened. When the 
gate is opened by the watchmen under the enemy's order or by 
others in confidence, they may strike the enemy with the help of 
the army. 

573 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Painters, carpenters, heretics, actors, merchants, and other 
disguised spies belonging to the conqueror's army may also reside 
inside the fort of the enemy. Spies, disguised as agriculturists, may 
supply them with weapons taken in carts loaded with firewood, 
grass, grains, and other commodities of commerce, or disguised as 
images and flags of gods. Then spies, disguised as priests, may 
announce to the enemy, blowing their conch shells and beating 
their drums, that a besieging army, eager to destroy all, and armed 
with weapons, is coming closely behind them. Then in the ensuing 
tumult, they may surrender the fort-gate and the towers of the fort 
to the army of the conqueror or disperse the enemy's army and 
bring about his fall. 

Or taking advantage of peace and friendship with the enemy, 
army and weapons may be collected inside the enemy's fort by 
spies disguised as merchants, caravans, processions leading a 
bride, merchants selling horses, peddlers trading in miscellaneous 
articles, purchasers or sellers of grains, and as ascetics. These and 
others are the spies aiming on the life of a king. 

The same spies, together with those described in "Removal of 
thorns" may, by employing thieves, destroy the flock of the 
enemy's cattle or merchandise in the vicinity of wild tracts. They 
may poison with the juice of the madana plant, the food- stuffs and 
beverage kept, as previously arranged, in a definite place for the 
enemy's cowherds, and go out unknown. When the cowherds show 
signs of intoxication in consequence of their eating the above 
food-stuffs, spies, disguised as cowherds, merchants, and thieves, 
may fall upon the enemy's cowherds, and carry off the cattle. 

Spies disguised as ascetics with shaved head or braided hair 
and pretending to be the worshippers of god, Sankarshana, may 
mix their sacrificial beverage with the juice of the madana plant 
(and give it to the cowherds), and carry off the cattle. 

574 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



A spy, under the guise of a vintner, may, on the occasion of 
procession of gods, funeral rites, festivals, and other congregations 
of people, go to sell liquor and present the cowherds with some 
liquor mixed with the juice of the madana plant. Then others may 
fall upon the intoxicated cowherds (and carry off the cattle). 

* Those spies, who enter into the wild tracts of the enemy 
with the intention of plundering his villages, and who, leaving that 
work, set themselves to destroy the enemy, are termed spies under 
the garb of thieves. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "The Work of Spies in a Siege," in Book 
XIII, "The Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-third chapter 
from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. THE OPERATION OF A SIEGE. 

REDUCTION (of the enemy) must precede a siege. The 
territory that has been conquered should be kept so peacefully that 
it might sleep without any fear. When it is in rebellion, it is to be 
pacified by bestowing re-wards and remitting taxes, unless the 
conqueror means to quit it. Or he may select his battle fields in a 
remote part of the enemy's territory, far from the populous centres; 
for, in the opinion of Kautilya, no territory deserves the name of a 
kingdom or country unless it is full of people. When a people resist 
the attempt of the conqueror, then he may destroy their stores, 
crops, and granaries, and trade. 

* By the destruction of trade, agricultural produce, and 
standing crops, by causing the people to run away, and by slaying 

575 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



their leaders in secret, the country will be denuded of its people. 

When the conqueror thinks: "My army is provided with 
abundance of staple corn, raw materials, machines, weapons, dress, 
labourers, ropes and the like, and has a favourable season to act, 
whereas my enemy has an unfavourable season and is suffering 
from disease, famine and loss of stores and defencive force, while 
his hired troops as well as the army of his friend are in a miserable 
condition,"— then he may begin the siege. 

Having well guarded his camp, transports, supplies and also 
the roads of communication, and having dug up a ditch and raised a 
rampart round his camp, he may vitiate the water in the ditches 
round the enemy's fort, or empty the ditches of their water or fill 
them with water if empty, and then he may assail the rampart and 
the parapets by making use of underground tunnels and iron rods. 
If the ditch (dvdram) is very deep, he may fill it up with soil. If it is 
defended by a number of men, he may destroy it by means of 
machines. Horse soldiers may force their passage through the gate 
into the fort and smite the enemy. Now and then in the midst of 
tumult, he may offer terms to the enemy by taking recourse to one, 
two, three, or all of the strategic means. 

Having captured the birds such as the vulture, crow, naptri, 
bhdsa, parrot, mdina, and pigeon which have their nests in the 
fort-walls, and having tied to their tails inflammable powders 
(agniyoga), he may let them fly to the forts. If the camp is situated 
at a distance from the fort and is provided with an elevated post for 
archers and their flags, then the enemy's fort may be set on fire. 
Spies, living as watchmen of the fort, may tie inflammable powder 
to the tails of mongooses, monkeys, cats and dogs and let them go 
over the thatched roofs of the houses. A splinter of fire kept in the 
body of a dried fish may be caused to be carried off by a monkey, 
or a crow, or any other bird (to the thatched roofs of the houses). 

576 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Small balls prepared from the mixture of sarala (Pinus 
Longifolia), devaddru (deodar), putitrina (stinking grass), guggulu 
(Bdellium), sriveshtaka (turpentine), the juice of sarja (Vatica 
Robusta), and laksha (lac) combined with dungs of an ass, camel, 
sheep, and goat are inflammable (agnidharanah, i.e., such as keep 
fire.) 

The mixture of the powder of priyala (Chironjia Sapida), the 
charcoal of avalguja (oanyza, serratula, anthelmintica), 
madhuchchhishta (wax), and the dung of a horse, ass, camel, and 
cow is an inflammable powder to be hurled against the enemy. 

The powder of all the metals (sarvaloha) as red as fire, or the 
mixture of the powder of kumbhi (gmelia arberea, sisa (lead), 
trapu (zinc), mixed with the charcoal powder of the flowers of 
pdribhadraka (deodar), paldsa (Butea Frondosa), and hair, and 
with oil, wax, and turpentine, is also an inflammable powder. 

A stick of visvdsaghdti painted with the above mixture and 
wound round with a bark made of hemp, zinc, and lead, is a 
fire-arrow (to be hurled against the enemy). 

When a fort can be captured by other means, no attempt 
should be made to set fire to it; for fire cannot be trusted; it not only 
offends gods, but also destroys the people, grains, cattle, gold, raw 
materials and the like. Also the acquisition of a fort with its 
property all destroyed is a source of further loss. Such is the aspect 
of a siege. 

When the conqueror thinks: "I am well provided with all 
necessary means and with workmen whereas my enemy is diseased 
with officers proved to be impure under temptations, with 
unfinished forts and deficient stores, allied with no friends, or with 
friends inimical at heart," then he should consider it as an 

577 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



opportune moment to take up arms and storm the fort. 

When fire, accidental or intentionally kindled, breaks out; 
when the enemy's people are engaged in a sacrificial performance, 
or in witnessing spectacles or the troops, or in a quarrel due to the 
drinking of liquor; or when the enemy's army is too much tired by 
daily engagements in battles and is reduced in strength in 
consequence of the slaughter of a number of its men in a number of 
battles; when the enemy's people wearied from sleeplessness have 
fallen asleep; or on the occasion of a cloudy day, of floods, or of a 
thick fog or snow, general assault should be made. 

Or having concealed himself in a forest after abandoning the 
camp, the conqueror may strike the enemy when the latter comes 
out. 

A king pretending to be the enemy's chief friend or ally, may 
make the friendship closer with the besieged, and send a messenger 
to say: "This is thy weak point; these are thy internal enemies; that 
is the weak point of the besieger; and this person (who, deserting 
the conqueror, is now coming to thee) is thy partisan." When this 
partisan is returning with another messenger from the enemy, the 
conqueror should catch hold of him and, having published the 
partisan's guilt, should banish him, and retire from the siege 
operations. Then the pretending friend may tell the besieged: 
"Come out to help me, or let us combine and strike the besieger." 
Accordingly, when the enemy comes out, he may be hemmed 
between the two forces (the conqueror's force and the pretending 
friend's force) and killed or captured alive to distribute his territory 
(between the conqueror and the friend). His capital city may be 
razed to the ground; and the flower of his army made to come out 
and destroyed. 

This explains the treatment of a conquered enemy or wild 
chief. 



578 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Either a conquered enemy or the chief of a wild tribe (in 
conspiracy with the conqueror) may inform the besieged: "With 
the intention of escaping from a disease, or from the attack in his 
weak point by his enemy in the rear, or from a rebellion in his 
army, the conqueror seems to be thinking of going elsewhere, 
abandoning the siege." When the enemy is made to believe this, the 
conqueror may set fire to his camp and retire. Then the enemy 
coming out may be hemmed ... as before. 

Or having collected merchandise mixed with poison, the 
conqueror may deceive the enemy by sending that merchandise to 
the latter. 

Or a pretending ally of the enemy may send a messenger to 
the enemy, asking him: "Come out to smite the conqueror already 
struck by me." When he does so, he may be hemmed ... as before. 

Spies, disguised as friends or relatives and with passports and 
orders in their hands, may enter the enemy's fort and help to its 
capture. 

Or a pretending ally of the enemy may send information to the 
besieged: "I am going to strike the besieging camp at such a time 
and place; then you should also fight along with me." When the 
enemy does so, or when he comes out of his fort after witnessing 
the tumult and uproar of the besieging army in danger, he may be 
slain as before. 

Or a friend or a wild chief in friendship with the enemy may 
be induced and encouraged to seize the land of the enemy when the 
latter is besieged by the conqueror. When accordingly any one of 
them attempts to seize the enemy's territory, the enemy's people or 
the leaders of the enemy's traitors may be employed to murder him 
(the friend or the wild chief); or the conqueror himself may 

579 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



administer poison to him. Then another pretending friend may 
inform the enemy that the murdered person was a fratricide (as he 
attempted to seize the territory of his friend in troubles). After 
strengthening his intimacy with the enemy, the pretending friend 
may sow the seeds of dissension between the enemy and his 
officers and have the latter hanged. Causing the peaceful people of 
the enemy to rebel, he may put them down, unknown to the enemy. 
Then having taken with him a portion of his army composed of 
furious wild tribes, he may enter the enemy's fort and allow it to be 
captured by the conqueror. Or traitors, enemies, wild tribes and 
other persons who have deserted the enemy, may, under the plea of 
having been reconciled, honoured and rewarded, go back to the 
enemy and allow the fort to be captured by the conqueror. 

Having captured the fort or having returned to the camp after 
its capture, he should give quarter to those of the enemy's army 
who, whether as lying prostrate in the field, or as standing with 
their back turned to the conqueror, or with their hair dishevelled, 
with their weapons thrown down or with their body disfigured and 
shivering under fear, surrender themselves. After the captured fort 
is cleared of the enemy's partisans and is well guarded by the 
conqueror's men both within and without, he should make his 
victorious entry into it. 

Having thus seized the territory of the enemy close to his 
country, the conqueror should direct his attention to that of the 
madhyama king; this being taken, he should catch hold of that of 
the neutral king. This is the first way to conquer the world. In the 
absence of the madhyama and neutral kings, he should, in virtue of 
his own excellent qualities, win the hearts of his enemy's subjects, 
and then direct his attention to other remote enemies. This is the 
second way. In the absence of a Circle of States (to be conquered), 
he should conquer his friend or his enemy by hemming each 
between his own force and that of his enemy or that of his friend 

580 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



respectively. This is the third way. 

Or he may first put down an almost invincible immediate 
enemy. Having doubled his power by this victory, he may go 
against a second enemy; having trebled his power by this victory, 
he may attack a third. This is the fourth way to conquer the world. 

Having conquered the earth with its people of distinct castes 
and divisions of religious life, he should enjoy it by governing it in 
accordance with the duties prescribed to kings. 

* Intrigue, spies, winning over the enemy's people, siege, and 
assault are the five means to capture a fort. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "The Operation of a Siege and Storming a 
Fort," in Book XIII, "Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress," of the 
Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-fourth 
chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER V. RESTORATION OF PEACE IN A 
CONQUERED COUNTRY. 

THE expedition which the conqueror has to undertake may be 
of two kinds: in wild tracts or in single villages and the like. 

The territory which he acquires may be of three kinds: that 
which is newly acquired, that which is recovered (from an usurper) 
and that which is inherited. 

Having acquired a new territory, he should cover the enemy's 
vices with his own virtues, and the enemy's virtues by doubling his 
own virtues, by strict observance of his own duties, by attending to 

581 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



his works, by bestowing rewards, by remitting taxes, by giving 
gifts, and by bestowing honours. He should follow the friends and 
leaders of the people. He should give rewards, as promised, to 
those who deserted the enemy for his cause; he should also offer 
rewards to them as often as they render help to him; for whoever 
fails to fullfil his promises becomes untrustworthy both to his own 
and his enemy's people. Whoever acts against the will of the people 
will also become unreliable. He should adopt the same mode of 
life, the same dress, language, and customs as those of the people. 
He should follow the people in their faith with which they celebrate 
their national, religious and congregational festivals or 
amusements. His spies should often bring home to the mind of the 
leaders of provinces, villages, castes, and corporations the hurt 
inflicted on the enemies in contrast with the high esteem and 
favour with which they are treated by the conqueror, who finds his 
own prosperity in theirs. He should please them by giving gifts, 
remitting taxes, and providing for their security. He should always 
hold religious life in high esteem. Learned men, orators, charitable 
and brave persons should be favoured with gifts of land and money 
and with remission of taxes. He should release all the prisoners, 
and afford help to miserable, helpless, and diseased persons. He 
should prohibit the slaughter of animals for half a month during the 
period of Chdturmdsya (from July to September), for four nights 
during the full moon, and for a night on the day of the birth-star of 
the conqueror or of the national star. He should also prohibit the 
slaughter of females and young ones (yonibdlavadham) as well as 
castration. Having abolished those customs or transactions which 
he might consider either as injurious to the growth of his revenue 
and army or as unrighteous, he should establish righteous 
transactions. He should compel born thieves as well as the 
Mlechchhas to change their habitations often and reside in many 
places. Such of his chief officers in charge of the forts, country 
parts, and the army, and ministers and priests as are found to have 
been in conspiracy with the enemy should also be compelled to 

582 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



have their habitations in different places on the borders of the 
enemy's country. Such of his men as are capable to hurt him, but 
are convinced of their own fall with that of their master, should be 
pacified by secret remonstrance. Such renegades of his own 
country as are captured along with the enemy should be made to 
reside in remote corners. Whoever of the enemy's family is capable 
to wrest the conquered territory and is taking shelter in a wild tract 
on the border, often harassing the conqueror, should be provided 
with a sterile portion of territory or with a fourth part of a fertile 
tract on the condition of supplying to the conqueror a fixed amount 
of money and a fixed number of troops, in raising which he may 
incur the displeasure of the people and may be destroyed by them. 
Whoever has caused excitement to the people or incurred their 
displeasure should be removed and placed in a dangerous locality. 

Having recovered a lost territory, he should hide those vices 
of his, owing to which he lost it, and increase those virtues by 
which he recovered it. 

With regard to the inherited territory, he should cover the 
vices of his father, and display his own virtues. 

* He should initiate the observance of all those customs, 
which, though righteous and practised by others, are not observed 
in his own country, and give no room for the practice of whatever is 
unrighteous, though observed by others. 

[Thus ends Chapter V, "Restoration of Peace in a Conquered 
Country," in Book XIII, "Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress," 
of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-fifth 
chapter from the beginning. With this ends the thirteenth Book 
"Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya.] 



583 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book XIV, "Secret Means" 



CHAPTER I. MEANS TO INJURE AN ENEMY. 



IN order to protect the institution of the four castes, such 
measures as are treated of in secret science shall be applied against 
the wicked. Through the instrumentality of such men or women of 
Mlechchha class as can put on disguises, appropriate to different 
countries, arts, or professions, or as can put on the appearance of a 
hump-backed, dwarfish, or short-sized person, or of a dumb, deaf, 
idiot, or blind person, kdlakuta and other manifold poisons should 
be administered in the diet and other physical enjoyments of the 
wicked. Spies lying in wait or living as inmates (in the same house) 
may make use of weapons on occasions of royal sports or musical 
and other entertainments. Spies, under the disguise of 
night-walkers (rdtrichdri) or of fire -keepers (agni-jivi) may set fire 
(to the houses of the wicked). 

The powder (prepared from the carcass) of animals such as 
chitra (?), bheka (frog), kaundinyaka (?), krikana (perdix 
sylvatika), panchakushtha (?), and satapadi, (centipede); or of 
animals such as uchchitinga (crab), kambali (?), krikaldsa (lizard) 
with the powder of the bark of satakanda (Phyalis Flexuosa); or of 
animals such as grihagaulika (a small house-lizard), andhdhika (a 
blind snake), krakanthaka (a kind of partridge), putikita (a stinking 
insect), and gomdrika (?) combined with the juice of bhallataka 
(Semecarpus Anacardium), and valgaka (?);— the smoke caused by 
burning the above powders causes instantaneous death. 

* Any of the (above) insects may be heated with a black snake 
and priyangu (panic seed) and reduced to powder. This mixture, 

584 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



when burnt, causes instantaneous death. 

The powder prepared from the roots of dhdmdrgava (lufta 
foetida) and ydtudhdna (?) mixed with the powder of the flower of 
bhalldtaka (Semecarpus Anacardium) causes, when administered, 
death in the course of half a month. The root of vydghdta (casia 
fistula) reduced to powder with the flower of bhalldtaka 
(Semecarpus A nacardium) mixed with the essence of an insect 
(kita) causes, when administered, death in the course of a month. 

As much as a kald (16th of a tola) to men; twice as much to 
mules and horses; and four times as much to elephants and camels. 

The smoke caused by burning the powder of satakardama (?), 
uchchitinga (crab), karavira (nerium odorum), katutumbi (a kind 
of bitter gourd), and fish together with the chaff of the grains of 
madana (?) and kodrava (paspalam scrobiculatum), or with the 
chaff of the seeds of hastikarna (castor oil tree) and paldsa (butea 
frondosa) destroys animal life as far as it is carried off by the wind. 

The smoke caused by burning the powder of putikita (a 
stinking insect), fish, katutumbi (a kind of bitter gourd), the bark of 
satakardama (?), and indragopa (the insect cochineal), or the 
powder of putikita, kshudrdrdla (the resin of the plant, shorea 
robusta), and hemaviddri (?) mixed with the powder of the hoof 
and horn of a goat causes blindness. 

The smoke caused by burning the leaves of putikaranja 
(guilandina bonducella), yellow arsenic, realgar, the seeds of 
gunja (abrus precatorius), the chaff of the seeds of red cotton, 
dsphota (a plant, careya arborea), khdcha (salt ?), and the dung 
and urine of a cow causes blindness. 

The smoke caused by burning the skin of a snake, the dung of 
a cow and a horse, and the head of a blind snake causes blindness. 

585 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The smoke caused by burning the powder made of the 
mixture of the dung and urine of pigeons, frogs, flesh-eating 
animals, elephants, men, and boars, the chaff and powder of barley 
mixed with kdsisa (green sulphate of iron), rice, the seeds of 
cotton, kutaja (nerium antidysentericum), and kosdtaki (lufta 
pentandra), cow's urine, the root of bhdndi (hydroeotyle asiatica), 
the powder of nimba (nimba mend), sigru (hyperanthera 
morunga), phanirjaka (a kind of tulasi plant), kshibapiluka (ripe 
coreya arborea), and bhanga (a common intoxicating drug), the 
skin of a snake and fish, and the powder of the nails and tusk of an 
elephant, all mixed with the chaff of madana and kodravd 
(paspalam scrobiculatum), or with the chaff of the seeds of 
hastikarna (castor oil tree) and paldsa (butea frondosa) causes 
instantaneous death wherever the smoke is carried off by the wind. 

When a man who has kept his eyes secure with the application 
of ointment and medicinal water burns, on the occasion of the 
commencement of a battle and the assailing of forts, the roots of 
kali (tragia involucrata), kushtha (costus), nada (a kind of reed) 
and satdvari (asperagus racemosus), or the powder of (the skin of) 
a snake, the tail of a peacock, krikana (a kind of partridge), and 
panchakushtha (?), together with the chaff as previously described 
or with wet or dry chaff, the smoke caused thereby destroys the 
eyes of all animals. 

The ointment prepared by mixing the excretion of sdrikd 
(maina), kapota (pigeon), baka (crane), and baldka (a kind of small 
crane) with the milk of kdkshiva (hyperanthera morunga), piluka 
(a species of careya arborea) and snuhi (euphorbia) causes 
blindness and poisons water. 

The mixture of yavaka (a kind of barley), the root of sdla 
(achyrantes triandria), the fruit of madana (dattura plant?), the 
leaves of jdti (nutmeg?), and the urine of a man mixed with the 

586 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



powder of the root of plaksha (fig tree), and viddri (liquorice), as 
well as the essence of the decoction of musta (a kind of poison), 
udumbara (glomerous fig tree), and kodrava (paspalam 
scrobiculatum) or with the decoction of hastikarna (castor oil tree) 
and paldsa (butea frondosa) is termed the juice of madana 
(madanayoga). 

The mixture of the powders of sringi (atis betula), 
gaumevriksha (?), kantakdra (solatium xanthocarpum), and 
mayurapadi (?), the powder of gunja seeds, Idnguli (jusseina 
repens), vishamulika (?), and ingudi (heart-pea), and the powder of 
karavira (oleander), akshipiluka (careya arborea), arka plant, and 
mrigamdrini (?) combined with the decoction of madana and 
kodrava or with that of hastikarna and paldsa is termed madana 
mixture (madanayoga). 

The combination of (the above two) mixtures poisons grass 
and water when applied to them. 

The smoke caused by burning the mixture of the powders of 
krikana (a kind of partridge), krikalasa (lizard), grihagaulika (a 
small house-lizard) and andhdhika (a blind snake) destroys the 
eyes and causes madness. 

The (smoke caused by burning the) mixture of krikalasa and 
grihagaulika causes leprosy. 

The smoke caused by burning the same mixture together with 
the entrails of chitrabheka (a kind of frog of variegated colour), 
and madhu (celtis orientalist) causes gonorrhoea. 

The same mixture, wetted with human blood causes 
consumption. 

The powder of dushivisha (?), madana (dattura plant ?), and 

587 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



kodrava (paspalam scrobiculatum) destroys the tongue. 

The mixture of the powder of mdtrivdhaka (?), jaluka (leech), 
the tail of a peacock, the eyes of a frog, and pilukd (careya 
arborea) causes the disease known as vishuchika. 

The mixture of panchakushtha (?), kaundinyaka (?), 
rdjavriksha (cassia fistula), and madhupushpa (bassia latifolia) 
and madhu (honey?) causes fever. 

The mixture prepared from the powder of the knot of the 
tongue of bhdja (?), and nakula (mongoose) reduced to a paste with 
the milk of a she-donkey causes both dumbness and deafness. 

The proportion of a dose to bring on the desired deformities in 
men and animals in the course of a fortnight or a month is as laid 
down before. 

Mixtures become very powerful when, in the case of drugs, 
they are prepared by the process of decoction; and in the case of 
animals, by the process of making powders; or in all cases by the 
process of decoction. 

Whoever is pierced by the arrow prepared from the grains of 
sdlmali (bombax heptaphyllum) and viddri (liquorice) reduced to 
powder and mixed with the powder of mulavatsandbha (a kind of 
poison) and smeared over with the blood of chuchundari 
(musk-rat) bites some ten other persons who in their turn bite 
others. 

The mixture prepared from the flowers of bhalldtaka 
(semecarpus anacardium), ydtudhdna (?), dhdmdrgava 
(achyranthes aspera), and bdna (sal tree) mixed with the powder 
of eld (large cardamom), kdkshi (red aluminous earth), guggulu 

588 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



(bdellium), and hdldhala (a kind of poison) together with the blood 
of a goat and a man causes biting madness. 

When half a dharana of this mixture together with flour and 
oil-cakes is thrown into water of a reservoir measuring a hundred 
bows in length, it vitiates the whole mass of water; all the fish 
swallowing or touching this mixture become poisonous; and 
whoever drinks or touches this water will be poisoned. 

No sooner does a person condemned to death pull out from 
the earth an alligator or iguana (godhd) which, with three or five 
handfuls of both red and white mustard seeds, is entered into the 
earth than he dies at its sight. 

When, on the days of the stars of krittikd or bharani and 
following the method of performing fearful rites, an oblation with a 
black cobra emitting froth at the shock of lightning or caught hold 
of by means of the sticks of a tree struck by lightning and perfumed 
is made into the fire, that fire continues to burn unquenchably. 

* An oblation of honey shall be made into the fire fetched from the 
house of a blacksmith; of spirituous liquor into the fire brought 
from the house of a vintner; of clarified butter into the fire of a 
sacrificer (?); 

* Of a garland into the fire kept by a sacrificer with one wife; of 
mustard seeds into the fire kept by an adulterous woman; of curds 
into the fire kept during the birth of a child; of rice-grain into the 
fire of a sacrificer; 

* Of flesh into the fire kept by a chandala; of human flesh into the 
fire burning in cremation grounds; an oblation of the serum of the 
flesh of a goat and a man shall be made by means of a sacrificial 
ladle into the fire which is made of all the above fires; 

* Repeating the mantras addressed to the fire, an oblation of the 
wooden pieces of rdjavriksha (cassia fistula) into the same fire. 

589 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



This fire will unquenchably burn deluding the eyes of the enemies. 

Salutation to Aditi, salutation to Anumati, salutation to 
Sarasvati and salutation to the Sun; oblation to Agni, oblation to 
soma, oblation to the earth, and oblation to the atmosphere. 

[Thus ends Chapter I, "Means to Injure an Enemy," in Book XIV, 
"Secret Means," of 'the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of the hundred 
and forty- sixth chapter from the beginning.] 

CHAPTER II. WONDERFUL AND DELUSIVE 
CONTRIVANCES. 

A DOSE of the powder of sirisha (mimosa sirisa), udumbara 
(glomerous fig-tree), and sami (acacia suma) mixed with clarified 
butter, renders fasting possible for half a month; the scum prepared 
from the mixture of the root of kaseruka (a kind of water-creeper), 
utpala (costus), and sugar-cane mixed with bisa (water-lily), durva 
(grass), milk, and clarified butter enables a man to fast for a month. 

The powder of mdsha (phraseolus radiatus), yava (barley), 
kuluttha (horse-gram) and the root of darbha (sacrificial grass) 
mixed with milk and clarified butter; the milk of valli (a kind of 
creeper) and clarified butter derived from it and mixed in equal 
proportions and combined with the paste prepared from the root of 
sola (shorea robusta) and prisniparni (hedysarum lagopodioides), 
when drunk with milk; or a dose of milk mixed with clarified butter 
and spirituous liquor, both prepared from the above substances, 
enables one to fast for a month. 

The oil prepared from mustard seeds previously kept for 
seven nights in the urine of a white goat will, when used 
(externally) after keeping the oil inside a large bitter gourd for a 
month and a half, alter the colour of both biped and quadruped 

590 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



animals. 

The oil extracted from white mustard seeds mixed with the 
barley-corns contained in the dung of a white donkey, which has 
been living for more than seven nights on a diet of butter, milk and 
barley, causes alteration in colour. 

The oil prepared from mustard seeds which have been 
previously kept in the urine and fluid dung of any of the two 
animals, a white goat and a white donkey, causes (when applied) 
such white colour as that of the fibre of arka plant or the down of a 
(white) bird. 

The mixture of the dung of a white cock and ajagara 
(boa-constrictor) causes white colour. 

The pastry made from white mustard seeds kept for seven 
nights in the urine of a white goat mixed with butter-milk, the milk 
of arka plant, salt, and grains (dhdnya), causes, when applied for a 
fortnight, white colour. 

The paste, prepared from white mustard seeds which have 
been previously kept within a large bitter gourd and with clarified 
butter prepared from the milk of valli (a creeper) for half a month, 
makes the hair white. 

* A bitter gourd, a stinking insect (putikita), and a white 
house-lizard; when a paste prepared from these is applied to the 
hair, the latter becomes as white as a conch-shell. 

When any part of the body of a man is rubbed over with the 
pastry (kalka) prepared from tinduka (glutinosa) and arishta 
(soap-berry), together with the dung of a cow, the part of the body 
being also smeared over with the juice of bhalldtaka (semecarpus 

591 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



anacardium), he will catch leprosy in the course of a month. 

(The application of the paste prepared from) gunja seeds kept 
previously for seven nights in the mouth of a white cobra or in the 
mouth of a house-lizard brings on leprosy. 

External application of the liquid essence of the egg of a 
parrot and a cuckoo brings on leprosy. 

The pastry or decoction prepared from priydla (chironjia 
sapida or vitis vinifera ?) is a remedy for leprosy. 

Whoever eats the mixture of the powders of the roots of 
kukkuta (marsilia dentata), kosdtaki {duff a pentandra), and 
satdvari (asparagus racemosus) for a month will become white. 

Whoever bathes in the decoction of vata (banyan tree) and 
rubs his body with the paste prepared from sahachara (yellow 
barleria) becomes black. 

Sulphuret of arsenic and red arsenic mixed with the oil 
extracted from sakuna (a kind of bird) and kanka (a vulture) causes 
blackness. 

The powder of khadyota (fire-fly) mixed with the oil of 
mustard seeds emits light at night. 

The powder of khadyota (fire-fly) and gandupada 
(earth-worm) or the powder of ocean animals mixed with the 
powder of bhringa (malabathrum), kapdla (a pot-herb), and 
khadira (mimosa catechu), and karnikdra (pentapetes acerifolia), 
combined with the oil of sakuna (a bird) and kanka (vulture), is 
tejanachurna (ignition powder). 



592 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When the body of a man is rubbed over with the powder of the 
charcoal of the bark of pdribhadraka (erythrina indica) mixed with 
the serum of the flesh of manduka (a frog), it can be burnt with fire 
(without causing hurt). 

The body which is painted with the pastry (kalka) prepared 
from the bark of pdribhadraka (erythrina indica) and sesamum 
seeds burns with fire. 

The ball prepared from the powder of the charcoal of the bark 
ofpilu (careya arbor ea) can be held in hand and burnt with fire. 

When the body of a man is smeared over with the serum of the 
flesh of a frog, it burns with fire (with no hurt). 

When the body of a man is smeared over with the above 
serum as well as with the oil extracted from the fruits of kusa (ficus 
religiosa), and amra (mango tree), and when the powder prepared 
from an ocean frog (samdura manduki), phenaka (sea-foam), and 
sarjarasa (the juice of vatica robusta) is sprinkled over the body, it 
burns with fire (without being hurt). 

When the body of a man is smeared over with sesamum oil 
mixed with equal quantities of the serum of the flesh of a frog, 
crab, and other animals, it can burn with fire (without hurt). 

The body which is smeared over with the serum of the flesh of 
a frog burns with fire. 

The body of a man, which is rubbed over with the powder of 
the root of bamboo (yenu) and saivdla (aquatic plant), and is 
smeared over with the serum of the flesh of a frog, burns with fire. 

Whoever has anointed his legs with the oil extracted from the 

593 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



paste prepared from the roots of pdribhadraka (erythrina indica), 
pratibala (?), vanjula (a kind of ratan or tree), vajra (andropogon 
muricatum or euphorbia), and kadali (banana), mixed with the 
serum of the flesh of a frog, can walk over fire (without hurt). 

* Oil should be extracted from the paste prepared from the roots of 
pratibala, vanjula and pdribhadraka, all growing near water, the 
paste being mixed with the serum of the flesh of a frog. 

* Having anointed one's legs with this oil, one can walk over a 
white-hot mass of fire as though on a bed of roses. 

When birds such as a hamsa (goose), krauncha (heron), 
mayura (peacock) and other large swimming birds are let to fly at 
night with a burning reed attached to their tail it presents the 
appearance of a fire-brand falling from the sky (ulkd). 

Ashes caused by lightning quench the fire. 

When, in a fireplace, kidney beans (mdsha) wetted with the 
menstrual fluid of a woman, as well as the roots of vajra 
(andropogon muricatum) and kadali (banana), wetted with the 
serum of the flesh of a frog are kept, no grains can be cooked there. 

Cleansing the fire place is its remedy. 

By keeping in the mouth a ball-like piece of pilu (careya 
arberea) or a knot of the root of linseed tree (suvarchala) with fire 
inserted within the mass of the ball and wound round with threads 
and cotton (pichu), volumes of smoke and fire can be breathed out. 

When the oil extracted from the fruits of kusa (ficus religiosa) 
and dmra (mango) is poured over the fire, it burns even in the 
storm. 



594 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Sea-foam wetted with oil and ignited keeps burning when 
floating on water. 

The fire generated by churning the bone of a monkey by 
means of a bamboo stick of white and black colour (kalmdshavenu) 
burns in water instead of being quenched. 

There will burn no other fire where the fire generated by 
churning, by means of a bamboo stick of white and black colour, 
the left side rib-bone of a man killed by a weapon or put to the 
gallows; or the fire generated by churning the bone of a man or 
woman by means of the bone of another man is circumambulated 
thrice from right to left. 

* When the paste prepared from the animals such as 
chuchundari (musk-rat), khanjarita (?) and khdrakita (?), with the 
urine of a horse is applied to the chains with which the legs of a 
man are bound, they will be broken to pieces. 

The sun-stone (ayaskdnta) or any other stone (will break to 
pieces) when wetted with the serum of the flesh of the animals 
kulinda (?), dardura (?), and khdrakita (?). 

The paste prepared from the powder of the rib-bone of ndraka 
(?), a donkey, kanka (a kind of vulture), and bhdsa (a bird), mixed 
with the juice of water-lily, is applied to the legs of bipeds and 
quadrupeds (while making a journey). 

When a man makes a journey, wearing the shoes made of the 
skin of a camel, smeared over with the serum of the flesh of an owl 
and a vulture and covered over with the leaves of the banyan tree, 
he can walk fifty yojanas without any fatigue. 

(When the shoes are smeared over with) the pith, marrow or 
sperm of the birds, syena, kanka, kdka, gridhra, hamsd, krauncha, 

595 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



and vichiralla, (the traveller wearing them) can walk a hundred 
yojanas (without any fatigue). 

The fat or serum derived from roasting a pregnant camel 
together with saptaparna (lechites scholaris) or from roasting dead 
children in cremation grounds, is applied to render a journey of a 
hundred yojanas easy. 

* Terror should be caused to the enemy by exhibiting these 
and other wonderful and delusive performances; while anger 
causing terror is common to all, terrification by such wonders is 
held as a means to consolidate peace. 

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Wonderful and Delusive Contrivances," in 
Book XIV, "Secret Means," of the Arthasdstra of Kautilya. End of 
the hundred and forty- seventh chapter from the beginning.] 



CHAPTER III. THE APPLICATION OF MEDICINES AND 
MANTRAS. 

HAVING pulled out both the right and the left eye-balls of a 
cat, camel, wolf, boar, porcupine, vdguli (?), naptri (?), crow and 
owl, or of any one, two, or three, or many of such animals as roam 
at nights, one should reduce them to two kinds of powder. 
Whoever anoints his own right eye with the powder of the left eye 
and his left eye with the powder of the right eye-ball can clearly see 
things even in pitch dark at night. 

* One is the eye of a boar; another is that of a khadyota 
(fire-fly), or a crow, or a mina bird. Having anointed one's own 
eyes with the above, one can clearly see things at night. 

Having fasted for three nights, one should, on the day of the 
star, Pushya, catch hold of the skull of a man who has been killed 

596 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



with a weapon or put to the gallows. Having filled the skull with 
soil and barley seeds, one should irrigate them with the milk of 
goats and sheep. Putting on the garland formed of the sprouts of the 
above barley crop, one can walk invisible to others. 

Having fasted for three nights and having afterwards pulled 
out on the day of the star of Pushya both the right and the left eyes 
of a dog, a cat, an owl, and a vdguli (?), one should reduce them to 
two kinds of powder. Then having anointed one's own eyes with 
this ointment as usual, one can walk invisible to others. 

Having fasted for three nights, one should, on the day of the 
star of Pushya, prepare a round-headed pin (saldkd) from the 
branch of purushaghdti (punndga tree). Then having filled with 
ointment (anjana) the skull of any of the animals which roam at 
nights, and having inserted that skull in the organ of procreation of 
a dead woman, one should burn it. Having taken it out on the day of 
the star of Pushya and having anointed one's own eyes with that 
ointment, one can walk invisible to others. 

Wherever one may happen to see the corpse burnt or just 
being burnt of a Brahman who kept sacrificial fire (while alive), 
there one should fast for three nights; and having on the day of the 
star of Pushya formed a sack from the garment of the corpse of a 
man who has died from natural causes, and having filled the sack 
with the ashes of the Brahman 's corpse, one may put on the sack on 
one's back, and walk invisible to others. 

The slough of a snake filled with the powder of the bones and 
marrow or fat of the cow sacrificed during the funeral rites of a 
Brahman, can, when put on the back of cattle, render them 
invisible. 

The slough of prachaldka (a bird?) filled with the ashes of the 

597 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



corpse of a man dead from snake-bite, can render beasts (mriga) 
invisible. 

The slough of a snake (ahi) filled with the powder of the bone 
of the knee-joint mixed with that of the tail and dung (purisha) of 
an owl and a vdguli (?), can render birds invisible. 

Such are the eight kinds of the contrivances causing 
invisibility. 

* I bow to Bali, son of Virochana; to Sambara acquainted with a 
hundred kinds of magic; to Bhandirapdka, Naraka, Nikumbha, and 
Kumbha. 

* I bow to Devala and Ndrada; I bow to Sdvarnigdlava; with the 
permission of these I cause deep slumber to thee. 

* Just as the snakes, known as ajagara (boa-constrictor) fall into 
deep slumber, so may the rogues of the army who are very anxious 
to keep watch over the village; 

* With their thousands of dogs (bhandaka) and hundreds of ruddy 
geese and donkeys, fall into deep slumber; I shall enter this house, 
and may the dogs be quiet. 

* Having bowed to Manu, and having tethered the roguish dogs 
(sunakaphelaka), and having also bowed to those gods who are in 
heaven, and to Brdhmans among mankind; 

* To those who are well versed in their Vedic studies, those who 
have attained to Kaildsa (a mountain of god Siva) by observing 
penance, and to all prophets, I do cause deep slumber to thee. 

The fan (chamari) comes out; may all combinations retire. 
Oblation to Manu, O Aliti and Paliti. 

The application of the above mantra is as follows:— 

Having fasted for three nights, one should, on the fourteenth 

598 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



day of the dark half of the month, the day being assigned to the star 
of Pushya, purchase from a low-caste woman (svapdki) 
vilikhdvalekhana (finger nails?). Having kept them in a basket 
(kandolika), one should bury them apart in cremation grounds. 
Having unearthed them on the next fourteenth day, one should 
reduce them to a paste with kumdri (aloe ?) and prepare small pills 
out of the paste. Wherever one of the pills is thrown, chanting the 
above mantra, there the whole animal life falls into deep slumber. 

Following the same procedure, one should separately bury in 
cremation grounds three white and three black dart-like hairs 
(salyaka) of a porcupine. When, having on the next fourteenth day 
taken them out, one throws them together with the ashes of a burnt 
corpse, chanting the above mantra, the whole animal life in that 
place falls into deep slumber. 

* I bow to the goddess Suvarnapushpi and to Brahmdni, to the god 
Brahma, and to Kusadhvaja; I bow to all serpents and goddesses; I 
bow to all ascetics. 

* May all Brdhmans and Kshattriyas come under my power; may 
all Vaisyas and, Sudras be at my beck and call, 

Oblation to thee, O, Amile, Kimile, Vayujdre, Prayoge, 
Phake, Kavayusve, Vihdle, and Dantakatake, oblation to thee. 

* May the dogs which are anxiously keeping watch over the village 
fall into deep and happy slumber; these three white dart-like hairs 
of the porcupine are the creation of Brahma. 

* All prophets (siddha) have fallen into deep slumber. I do cause 
sleep to the whole village as far as its boundary till the sun rises. 
Oblation! 

The application of the above mantra is as follows:— 

599 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When a man, having fasted for seven nights and secured three 
white dart-like hairs of a porcupine, makes on the fourteenth day of 
the dark half of the month oblations into the fire with 108 pieces of 
the sacrificial fire-wood of khadira (mimosa catechu) and other 
trees together with honey and clarified butter chanting the above 
mantra, and when, chanting the same mantra, he buries one of the 
hairs at the entrance of either a village or a house within it, he 
causes the whole animal life therein to fall into deep slumber. 

* I bow to Bali, the son of Vairochana, to S'atamdya, S'ambara, 
Nikumbha, Naraka, Kumbha, Tantukachchha, the great demon; 

* To Armdlava, Pramila, Mandoluka, Ghatodbala, to Krishna with 
his followers, and to the famous woman, Paulomi. 

* Chanting the sacred mantras, I do take the pith or the bone of the 
corpse (savasdrika) productive of my desired ends— may S'alaka 
demons be victorious; salutation to them; oblation!— May the dogs 
which are anxiously keeping watch over the village fall into deep 
and happy slumber. 

* May all prophets (siddhdrthdh) fall into happy sleep about the 
object which we are seeking from sunset to sunrise and till the 
attainment of my desired end. Oblation! 

The application of the above mantra is as follows:— 

Having fasted for four nights and having on the fourteenth 
day of the dark half of the month performed animal sacrifice (ball) 
in cremation grounds, one should, repeating the above mantra, 
collect the pith of a corpse (savasdrika) and keep it in a basket 
made of leaves (pattrapauttalikd). When this basket, being pierced 
in the centre by a dart-like hair of a porcupine, is buried, chanting 
the above mantra, the whole animal life therein falls into deep 
slumber. 

* I take refuge with the god of fire and with all the goddesses 

600 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



in the ten quarters; may all obstructions vanish and may all things 
come under my power. Oblation. 

The application of the above mantra is as follows:— 

Having fasted for three nights and having on the day of the 
star of Pushya prepared twenty-one pieces of sugar-candy, one 
should make oblation into the fire with honey and clarified butter; 
and having worshipped the pieces of sugar-candy with scents and 
garlands of flowers, one should bury them. When, having on the 
next day of the star of Pushya unearthed the pieces of sugar-candy, 
and chanting the above mantra, one strikes the door-panel of a 
house with one piece and throws four pieces in the interior, the 
door will open itself. 

Having fasted for four nights, one should on the fourteenth 
day of the dark half of the month get a figure of a bull prepared 
from the bone of a man, and worship it, repeating the above 
mantra. Then a cart drawn by two bulls will be brought before the 
worshipper who can (mount it and) drive in the sky and tell all that 
is connected with the sun and other planets of the sky. 

O, Chanddli Kumbhi, Tumba Katuka, and Sdrigha, thou art 
possessed of the bhaga of a woman, oblation to thee. 

When this mantra is repeated, the door will open and the 
inmates fall into sleep. 

Having fasted for three nights, one should on the day of the 
star of Pushya fill with soil the skull of a man killed with weapons 
or put to the gallows, and, planting in it valli (vallari ?) plants, 
should irrigate them with water. Having taken up the grown-up 
plants on the next day of the star of Pushya (i.e., after 27 days), one 
should manufacture a rope from them. When this rope is cut into 

601 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



two pieces before a drawn bow or any other shooting machine, the 
string of those machines will be suddenly cut into two pieces. 

When the slough of a water- snake (udakdhi) is filled with the 
breathed-out dirt (uchchhvdsamrittika ?) of a man or woman (and is 
held before the face and nose of any person), it causes those organs 
to swell. 

When the sack-like skin of the abdomen of a dog or a boar is 
filled with the breathed-out dirt {uchchhvdsamrittika) of a man or 
woman and is bound (to the body of a man) with the ligaments of a 
monkey, it causes the man's body to grow in width and length 
(dndha), 

When the figure of an enemy carved out of rdjavriksha 
{cassia fistula) is besmeared with the bile of a brown cow killed 
with a weapon on the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month, 
it causes blindness (to the enemy). 

Having fasted for four nights and offered animal sacrifice 
(bali) on the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month, one 
should get a few bolt-like pieces prepared from the bone of a man 
put to the gallows. When one of these pieces is put in the feces or 
urine (of an enemy), it causes (his) body to grow in size {dndha); 
and when the same piece is buried under the feet or seat (of an 
enemy), it causes death by consumption; and when it is buried in 
the shop, fields, or the house (of an enemy), it causes him loss of 
livelihood. 

The same process of smearing and burying holds good with 
the bolt-like pieces {kilaka) prepared from vidyuddanda tree. 
* When the nail of the little finger {punarnavam avdchinam ?) 
nimba {nimba melia), kdma {bdellium), madhu {celtis orientalis), 
the hair of a monkey, and the bone of a man, all wound round with 

602 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



the garment of a dead man. 

* Is buried in the house of, or is trodden down by, a man, that man 
with his wife, children and wealth will not survive three fortnights. 

* When the nail of the little finger, nimba (nimba melia), kdma 
(bdellium), madhu (celtis orientalis), and the bone of a man dead 
from natural causes are buried under the feet of, 

* Or near the house of, a man or in the vicinity of the camp of an 
army, of a village, or of a city, that man (or the body of men) with 
wife, children, and wealth will not survive three fortnights. 

* When the hair of a sheep and a monkey, of a cat and mongoose, 
of Brdhmans, of low-caste men (svapdka), and of a crow and an 
owl is collected, 

* And is made into a paste with faeces (vishtdvakshunna), its 
application brings on instantaneous death. When a flower garland 
of a dead body, the ferment derived from burning corpse, the hair 
of a mangoose, 

* And the skin of scorpion, a bee, and a snake are buried under the 
feet of a man, that man will lose all human appearance so long as 
they are not removed. 

Having fasted for three nights and having on the day of the 
star of Pushya planted gunja seeds in the skull, filled with soil, of a 
man killed with weapons or put to the gallows, one should irrigate 
it with water. On the new or full moon day with the star of Pushya, 
one should take out the plants when grown, and prepare out of 
them circular pedestals (mandalikd). When vessels containing food 
and water are placed on these pedestals, the food stuffs will never 
decrease in quantity. 

When a grand procession is being celebrated at night, one 
should cut off the nipples of the udder of a dead cow and burn them 
in a torch-light flame. A fresh vessel should be plastered in the 
interior with the paste prepared from these burnt nipples, mixed 
with the urine of a bull. When this vessel, taken round the village in 



603 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



circumambulation from right to left, is placed below, the whole 
quantity of the butter produced by all the cows (of the village) will 
collect itself in the vessel. 

On the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month combined 
with the star of Pushya, one should thrust into the organ of 
procreation of a dog or heat an iron seal (kataldyasam mudrikam) 
and take it up when it falls down of itself. When, with this seal in 
hand, a collection of fruits is called out, it will come of itself 
(before the magician). 

* By the power of mantras, drugs, and other magical 
performances, one should protect one's own people and hurt those 
of the enemy. 

[Thus ends Chapter III, "The Application of Medicine and 
Mantras," in Book XIV, "Secret Means," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-eighth chapter from the 
beginning.] 



CHAPTER IV. REMEDIES AGAINST THE INJURIES OF 
ONE'S OWN ARMY. 

WITH regard to remedies against poisons and poisonous 
compounds applied by an enemy against one's own army or 
people:— 

When the things that are meant for the king's use, inclusive of 
the limbs of women, as well as the things of the army are washed in 
the tepid water prepared from the decoction of sleshmdtaki 
(sebesten or cordia myk), kapi (emblica officinalis), madanti (?), 
danta (ivory), satha (Citron tree), gojigi (gojihva 1—elephantophus 
scaber), visha (aconitum ferox), pdtali (bignonia suave olens), 
bala (lida cardifolia et rombifolia), syondka (bignonia indica), 

604 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



punarnava (?), sveta (andropogon aciculatum), and tagara 
(taberncemontana coronaria), mixed with chandana (sandal) and 
the blood of saldvriki (jackal), it removes the bad effects of poison. 

The mixture prepared from the biles of prishata (red- spotted 
deer), nakula (mongoose), nilakantha (peacock), and godhd 
(alligator), with charcoal powder (mashirdji), combined with the 
sprouts (agra) of sinduvdra (vitex trifolia), tagara 
(taberncemontana coronaria, varuna)(teriandium indicum), 
tanduliyaka (amaranthus polygamus), and sataparva (convolvulus 
repens) together with pinditaka (vangueria spinosa) removes the 
effects of the mixture of madana. 

Among the decoctions of the roots of srigdla (bignonia 
indica), vinna (?), madana, sinduvdra (vitex trifolia), tagara 
(taberncemontana coronaria), and valli, (a creeper ?), any one or 
all mixed with milk removes, when drunk, the effects of the 
mixture of madana. 

The stinking oil extracted from kaidarya (vangueria spinosa) 
removes madness. 

The mixture prepared from priyangu (panic seed) and 
naktamdla (galedupa arborea) removes, when applied through the 
nose, leprosy. 

The mixture prepared from kushtha (costus) and lodhra 
(symplocus) removes consumption. 

The mixture prepared from katuphala (glelina arborea), 
dravanti (anthericum tuberosum), and vilanga (a kind of seed) 
removes, when applied through the nose, headache and other 
diseases of the head. 



605 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



The application of the mixture prepared from priyangu (panic 
seed), manjishtha (rubia manjit), tagara (taberncemontana 
coronaria), lakshdrasa (the juice or essence of lac) madhuka (?), 
haridrd (turmeric), and kshaudra (honey) to persons who have 
fallen senseless by being beaten by a rope, by falling into water, or 
by eating poison, or by being whipped, or by falling, resuscitates 
them. 

The proportion of a dose is as much as an aksha (?) to men; 
twice as much to cows and horses; and four times as much to 
elephants and camels. 

A round ball (mani) prepared from the above mixture and 
containing gold (rukma) in its centre, removes the the effects due to 
any kind of poison. 

A round ball (mani) prepared from the wood of asvattha (holy 
fig tree) growing wound round with the plants such as jivanti (a 
medicinal plant), sveta (andropogan aciculatum) the flower of 
mushkaka (a species of tree), and vanaddka (epidendrum 
tesseloides), removes the effects due to any kind of poison. 

* The sound of trumpets painted with the above mixture destroys 
poison; whoever looks at a flag or banner besmeared with the 
above mixture will get rid of poison. 

* Having applied these remedies to secure the safety of himself and 
his army, a king should make use of poisonous smokes and other 
mixtures to vitiate water against his enemy. 

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "Remedies against the Injuries of One's 
Own Army," in Book XIV, "Secret Means," of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-ninth chapter from the 
beginning. With this, ends the fourteenth Book "Secret Means," of 
the Arthasdstra of Kautilya.] 

606 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Book XV, "The Plan of a Treatise" 



CHAPTER I. PARAGRAPHICAL DIVISIONS OF THIS 

TREATISE. 



THE subsistence of mankind is termed artha, wealth; the 
earth which contains mankind is also termed artha, wealth; that 
science which treats of the means of acquiring and maintaining the 
earth is the Arthasdstra, Science of Polity. 

It contains thirty-two paragraphical divisions; the book 
(adhikarana), contents (vidhdna), suggestion of similar facts 
(yoga), the meaning of a word (paddrtha), the purport of reason 
(hetvartha), mention of a fact in brief (uddesa), mention of a fact in 
detail (nirdesa), guidance (upadesa), quotation, (apadesa), 
application (atidesa) the place of reference (pradesa), simile 
(upamdna), implication (arthdpatti), doubt (samsaya), reference to 
similar procedure (presanga), contrariety (viparyaya), ellipsis 
(vakyasesha), acceptance (anumata), explanation (vydkhaydna), 
derivation (nirvachana), illustration (nidarsana), exception 
(apavarga), the author's own technical terms (svasanjd), prima 
facie view (purva paksha), rejoinder (uttrapaksha), conclusion 
(ekdnta), reference to a subsequent portion (andgatdvekshana), 
reference to a previous portion (atikrantdvekshana), command 
(niyoga), alternative (vikalpa), compounding together 
(samuchchaya), and determinable fact (uhya). 

That portion of a work in which a subject or topic is treated of 
is a book, as for example: "This Arthasastra or Science of Polity 
has been made as a compendium of all those Arthasastras which, as 
a guidance to kings in acquiring and maintaining the earth, have 

607 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



been written by ancient teachers." 

A brief description of the matter contained in a book is its 
contents, as: "the end of learning; association with the aged; 
control of the organs of sense; the creation of ministers, and the 
like." 

Pointing out similar facts by the use of such words as 'These 
and the like,' is suggestion of similar facts; for example: "The 
world consisting of the four castes and the four religious divisions 
and the like." 

The sense which a word has to convey is its meaning; for 
example, with regard to the words mulahara: "Whoever squanders 
the wealth acquired for him by his father and grandfather is a 
mulahara, prodigal son." 

What is meant to prove an assertion is the purport of reason; 
for example: "For charity and enjoyment of life depend upon 
wealth." 

Saying in one word is mentioning a fact in brief; for example: 
"It is the control of the organs of sense on which success in learning 
and discipline depend." 

Explanation in detached words is the mentioning of a fact in 
detail; for example: "Absence of discrepancy in the perception of 
sound, touch, colour, flavour, and scent by means of the ear, the 
skin, the eyes, the tongue, and the nose, is what is meant by 
restraint of the organs of sense." 

Such statement as "Thus one should live," is guidance; for 
example: "Not violating the laws of righteousness and economy, he 
should live." 



608 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



Such statement, as 'he says thus,' is a quotation; for example: 
"The school of Manu say that a king should make his assembly of 
ministers consist of twelve ministers; the school of Brihaspati say 
that it should consist of sixteen ministers; the school of Usans say it 
should contain twenty members; but Kautilya holds that it should 
contain as many ministers as the need of the kingdom requires." 

When a rule dwelt upon in connection with a question is said 
to apply to another question also, it is termed application; for 
example: "What is said of a debt not repaid holds good with failure 
to make good a promised gift." 

Establishing a fact by what is to be treated of later on is 'place 
of reference;' for example: "By making use of such strategic means 
as conciliation, bribery, dissension, and coercion, as we shall 
explain in connection with calamities." 

Proving an unseen thing or course of circumstances by what 
has been seen is simile; for example: "Like a father his son, he 
should protect those of his subjects who have passed the period of 
the remission of taxes." 

What naturally follows from a statement of facts, though not 
spoken of in plain terms, is implication; for example, "Whoever 
has full experience of the affairs of this world should, through the 
medium of the courtiers and other friends, win the favour of a king 
who is of good character and worthy sovereign. It follows from this 
that no one should seek the favour of a king through the medium of 
the king's enemies." 

When the statement of a reason is equally applicable to two 
cases of circumstances, it is termed doubt; for example: "Which of 
the two should a conqueror march against: one whose subjects are 
impoverished and greedy, or one whose subjects are oppressed?" 

609 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



When the nature of procedure to be specified in connection 
with a thing is said to be equal to what has already been specified in 
connection with another, it is termed reference to similar 
procedure; for example: "On the lands allotted to him for the 
purpose of carrying on agricultural operations, he should do as 
before." 

The inference of a reverse statement from a positive 
statement is termed contrariety; for example: "The reverse will be 
the appearance of a king who is not pleased with the messenger." 

That portion of a sentence which is omitted, though necessary 
to convey a complete sense, is ellipsis; for example: "With his 
feathers plucked off, he will lose his power to move." Here 'like a 
bird' is omitted. 

When the opinion of another person is stated but not refuted, 
it is acceptance of that opinion; for example: "Wings, front, and 
reserve, is the form of an array of the army according to the school 
of UsanasT 

Description in detail is explanation; for example: "Especially 
amongst assemblies and confederacies of kings possessing the 
characteristics of assemblies, quarrel is due to gambling ; and 
destruction of persons due to the quarrel. Hence, among evil 
propensities, gambling is the worst evil, since it renders the king 
powerless for activity." 

Stating the derivative sense of a word, is derivation; for 
example: "That which throws off (yyasyati) a king from his 
prosperous career is propensity (yyasana). 

The mentioning of a fact to illustrate a statement, is 
illustration; for example: "In war with a superior, the inferior will 
be reduced to the same condition as that of a foot-soldier fighting 

610 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



with an elephant." 

Removal of an undesired implication from a statement is 
exception; for example: "A king may allow his enemy's army to be 
present close to his territory, unless he suspects of the existence of 
any internal trouble." 

Words which are not used by others in the special sense in 
which they are used by the author are his own technical terms; for 
example: "He who is close to the conqueror's territory is the first 
member; next to him comes the second member; and next to the 
second comes the third." 

The citation of another's opinion to be refuted, is prima facie 
view; for example: "Of the two evils, the distress of the king and 
that of his minister, the latter is worse." 

Settled opinion is rejoinder; for example: "The distress of the 
king is worse, since everything depends upon him; for the king is 
the central pivot, as it were." 

That which is universal in its application is conclusion or an 
established fact: for example: "A king should ever be ready for 
manly effort." 

Drawing attention to a later chapter is reference to a 
subsequent portion; for example: "We shall explain balance and 
weights in the chapter, 'The Superintendent of Weights and 
Measures'." 

The statement that it has been already spoken of is reference 
to a previous portion: for example, "The qualifications of a 
minister have already been described." 

'Thus and not otherwise' is command; for example: "Hence 

611 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



he should be taught the laws of righteousness and wealth, but not 
unrighteousness and non- wealth." 

'This or that' is alternative; for example: "or daughters born 
of approved marriage (dharmavivdha)." 

'Both with this and that' is compounding together; for 
example: "Whoever is begotten by a man on his wife is agnatic 
both to the father and the father's relatives." 

That which is to be determined after consideration is 
determinable fact; for example: "Experts shall determine the 
validity or invalidity of gifts so that neither the giver nor the 
receiver is likely to be hurt thereby." 

* Thus this Sdstra, conforming to these paragraphic divisions is 
composed as a guide to acquire and secure this and the other world. 

* In the light of this Sdstra one cannot only set on foot righteous, 
economical, and aesthetical acts and maintain them, but also put 
down unrighteous, uneconomical and displeasing acts. 

* This Sdstra has been made by him who from intolerance 
(of misrule) quickly rescued the scriptures and the science of 
weapons and the earth which had passed to the Nanda king. 

[Thus ends the Chapter I, 'Paragraphic divisions of the 
Treatise' in the fifteenth Book, 'Plan of Treatise.' This is the one 
hundred and fiftieth chapter from the first chapter of the entire 
work. The fifteenth book, 'Plan of Treatise, of the Arthasdstra of 
Kautilya is thus brought to a close.] 

* Having seen discrepancies in many ways on the part of the 
writers of commentaries on the Sdstras, Vishnu Gupta himself has 
made (this) Sutra and commentary. 

From: Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. 
Bangalore: Government Press, 1915, 515-520. 

612 



Kautilya's Arthashastra 



613